Water is a precious resource we often take for granted. Many of us are aware of our indoor water usage. We use efficient shower heads and only wash clothes when we have a full load. This is fantastic, but for many of us our good intentions vanish when we water the grass. Traditional gardens can use far more water than is good for our ecosystem. Instead of wasting water, conserve it by creating a water efficient landscape.

 

Benefits of a Water Efficient Landscape

 

An eco-friendly landscape doesn’t require an excess of water and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. Here are a few benefits for making your yard more water efficient.

 

  • Use less water. Did you know that up to 50% of water used in a typical California residence is used for watering the lawn? That’s a significant chunk of your water bill. Creating a landscape that uses less water is better for the environment. Plus, it’s easier on your wallet too.
  • Increase the property value of your home. An attractive water efficient landscape can boost the value of your home 11%. People are attracted to beauty, and a lovely, eco-friendly yard will only make your home more desirable.
  • More time for yourself. Spend less time on lawn care by making your landscape water efficient. An efficient water irrigation system saves time and money. Plants that use less water need far less upkeep. You will use fewer chemicals and have more time to enjoy your yard instead of spending hours mowing it.
  • Preserve natural habitats. Using fewer resources means birds and fish in the area will have more natural resources.
  • Use less energy. When you use less water, you use less energy because you don’t have to pump or treat as much water.
  • Protect local waterways. Water friendly yards don’t have the amount of toxic run-off as traditional yards do. 
  • Animals love an eco-friendly yard. Our Santa Cruz landscaping team uses as many indigenous plants as we can. This is very attractive to local species of birds, animals and butterflies. These plants are also used to local conditions, so they require much less fertilizer and maintenance.

 

Fundamentals of Eco-Friendly Landscaping

 

  • Make a diagram of your yard, and plan how you want it to look in advance. This includes the primary features of your yard, such as your home, trees and flower beds. After this step, create another diagram showing improvements you wish to make. Once you are done, you will have a thorough gardening plan.
  • Planting water-wise plants is key to a water-efficient yard. Native plants have had centuries to become acclimated to local conditions and require far less upkeep. You can also choose plants that are drought resistant. Often they become dormant when water isn’t available, then become active when it is.
  • Different sections of your yard require different plants. Minimize water usage by placing plants in the appropriate section of your yard. This means placing certain plants together based on water and sunlight requirements.
  • Soil matters. Healthy soil is crucial to the success of your garden. Another important component is the size of the particles. Sand is larger than many other types of soil, and water passes through it quickly. Building up the quality of your soil will make your yard naturally conserve water.
  • Aerate your lawn. Often soil becomes compacted, either over long-term use or after home construction. Aerating your lawn allows water to seep deeper into the earth so you don’t need to water as often.
  • Use mulch in your flower beds to increase water retention. Mulch not only prevents weeds from taking root, it holds onto water by decreasing evaporation. 
  • Use water efficiently. There are several types of irrigation systems to choose from, and the choices can get complicated. Speaking with our Santa Cruz landscaping company would be a great place to start when selecting one. Many homeowners collect rainwater in barrels placed around their house. They also use gray water and reclaimed water. People who use reclaimed water typically save up to 25% on their water bills. 
  • Grass can still be your friend. Having a water-efficient yard does not mean it will be filled with rocks and cacti. Planting grass where it is appropriate is perfectly fine. This might include areas children or pets play in. Also be aware that some types of grass use more water than others and choose appropriately.

 

Creating an eco-friendly landscape can be challenging, but it’s definitely worth it. The benefits are numerous. Saving money and conserving our natural resources are two to consider. Most importantly, you will end up with a lovely yard that blends seamlessly into the local environment. If you have any questions, please contact us today. We would love to help you create the perfect yard.