As the California drought continues water restrictions are getting tighter. But don’t worry. The Green Scene is here to bring you the best water saving landscaping ideas.
Use our drought tolerance ideas and you’ll still have the most beautiful California backyard landscaping in the neighborhood.
With heavy fines for abusing water and threats from the government to restrict our water usage coming, we are here to help save your landscaping through the drought.
Here are the best water saving landscaping ideas for your California backyard from the experts at The Green Scene.
Water Saving Landscaping Practices
At The Green Scene, we are often asked how to conserve water through the drought.
Here are our 7 best water saving landscaping ideas and practices.
1. Water Deeper but Not as Often
It is important to water for a longer period of time in order to get the water deep into the ground. This will encourage roots to grow deeper in search of water. It will also help develop a healthier and hardier plant. Fescue lawn varieties such as Medallion and Marathon are hardy and can root 2-3 feet down if encouraged to do so.
Water these types of lawns and other plants deeply, but only do so around twice a week.
2. “Session Irrigation”
If you’ve tried to water longer but the water has just run off your property, try the “session irrigation” method.
Set your sprinkler timer to run for 10 minutes. Then restart it an hour later for another 10 minutes.
3. Watch for Water Leaks
One of the best water saving landscaping ideas is simply checking for water leaks. Make sure your sprinklers are in good working condition with no broken heads or drip lines.
Check hose spigots, valves, and sprinkler heads every 2 months to check for leaks.
4. Use a “Wetting Agent”
A “wetting agent” such as ExWet or Hydretain breaks down the surface tension of water and allows it to penetrate the plant deeper. These products suggest you can reduce watering by 50%. This is because they encourage better water use and deeper root growth.
These products come in ready-to-use containers. Simply attach it to your garden hose.
5. Sunny and Shaded Areas have Different Water Needs
The sunny parts of your lawn have different watering needs than shaded areas. Adjust watering to the needs of each area of your landscaping.
6. Incorporate a Smart Controller
Technology is a wonderful tool for reducing water usage. They now make smart sprinkler systems that can connect to your smart device and use local weather data in real-time. This is one of the best water landscaping ideas because your water usage is controlled based on live weather data.
7. Keep Up with Mulching
Apply 1 inch of fresh mulch at the start of every spring. Mulch helps retain water and keeps weeds at bay. Mulch also eventually breaks down and enriches the soil with needed nutrients for your plants.
Just be careful not to over mulch. Some plants may end up rotting from the breakdown of too much mulch.
Here is what you should NOT do:
Do not use rocks and gravel in your garden planter beds. This is not ideal for water saving landscaping.
The rocks and gravel hold heat, so they can end up wicking moisture from below and burning your plants. That makes the use of rocks and gravel a bad idea when trying to conserve water usage.
Drought Resistant Plants for Landscaping
The most effective water saving landscaping ideas involve using drought resistant plants.
You can use succulents and natives. You can also use plants that originally came from Australia since their climate is similar to our own.
Contrary to what some believe, succulents and other drought resistant plants are both interesting and beautiful to look at.
In this video, Scott Cohen, owner of The Green Scene, discusses drought resistant plants for landscaping and their beauty with Chris from Village Nurseries.