7 Tips for Landscaping Decisions

The water crisis facing California is serious and carries imminent environmental, financial and human impacts. Cash incentives are being used in some areas to get homeowners to voluntarily give up their lawns. The National Association of Landscape Professionals offers the following tips to help you make smart decisions before making any drastic changes to your yard.

1.  Evaluate what you have. Some elements in your landscape may already be drought-friendly, but you may need to change others. Review how much water you are using on a regular basis.

2. Grass offers benefits that mitigate drought impacts. It cools the air around a home or building (reducing cooling costs), suppresses dust, controls soil erosion and sequesters carbon. Grass also assists in decomposing pollutants, dissipating heat and lowering allergy-related problems. It serves as a natural filter to potable water supplies, reducing storm water runoff and capturing and filtering precipitation.

3. Most people overwater their lawns and assume that if grass is not green, it may be dying. Grass goes into a dormant state during a drought. If the crowns and root system are intact and have adequate moisture, grass can sustain itself.

4. Think about how you intend to use your lawn or landscape moving forward. Do you enjoy backyard barbecues with friends and family? Is your yard a restful oasis from stress or a place for pets and children to romp and run? Consider how you use your yard to ensure that the redesigned landscape meets your needs.

5. Seek the advice of lawn and landscape professionals. Getting professional landscape advice has never been more important than now. With a variety of rules and restrictions at state and local levels, it is important to make sure you are making changes that are in line with regulations. A landscape industry certified professional implements best practices, applies up-to-date information and has a thorough understanding of land stewardship. Landscape professionals are knowledgeable about drought-friendly landscaping. Many landscape companies have water-management specialists, as well as professionals educated in sustainable landscape practices. You can find a landscape professional and get more at loveyourlandscape.com.

6. Install drought-friendly landscaping and change your watering practices. There are many landscaping options available, such as low-water native plants. Planting with hydrozones and installing drip irrigation can minimize water usage.

7. Design your landscape so it can be sustainably maintained and still be enjoyed as water restrictions are put in place. “We are working with our clients to help them understand the emergency water restrictions and how they will impact their landscapes and pocketbooks,” says Rajan Brown, director of resource management at Heaviland Landscape Management in Vista. “We are providing educational workshops to help clients understand how they can use rebate incentives to renovate water-intensive landscapes to be more drought tolerant and water efficient.”



National Association of Landscape Professionals



Categories: Gardening