Landscaping for Water Conservation: 5 Tips

drought gardeningCalifornia’s temperate Mediterranean climate combined with the current drought means everyone from farmers to home gardeners are wondering how they are going to keep plants thriving this summer during a water shortage. Did you know that landscaping claims an average of 57% of the water used by single-family homes in California? It’s times like this that landscaping for water conservation sounds more and more appealing.

As drought conditions are no stranger to California, consider updating your landscaping to reduce water usage and conserve natural resources during current and future water shortages.

Here are five great ways to update your landscaping for water conservation:


1. Ditch the lawn.
Though beautiful, lush, and green in ideal circumstances, lawns are incredibly thirsty. And since California’s climate means little to no rain during the hot, dry summer months, you’re relying on increasingly expensive water reserves to keep you yard looking nice. Consider replacing grass with a combination of rocks, gravel, bricks, and drought-resistant foliage. Better Homes and Gardens offers some beautiful water-conserving landscaping ideas. And you won’t have to dispose of the lush green you love so much either; take a look at these wonderful ornamental grasses!

2. Shop for native plants.
The Bay Area is home to many nurseries that specialize in native plants. There are many beautiful drought-resistant plants out there to choose from. Go have a look!

3. Use mulch.
Spreading mulch between widely-spaced plants helps reduce water usage. You won’t need to water as often, less water will evaporate, and you won’t have to weed the garden as frequently.

4. Consider drip irrigation.
Drip irrigation allows you to save water by delivering water directly to the plants. Consider installing irrigation for easy watering and conservation!

5. Plant landscape strips.
If you decide to keep all or part of your lawn, plant strips landscaped with drought resistant plants between the grass and any paths or sidewalks. In addition to adding some extra flair to your yard, the water conservation aspect of this type of landscaping is two-fold: there will be less grass to water and the runoff will water your plants instead of collecting on the path or sidewalk.

Visit‘s article on waterless landscaping for more great garden ideas. Do you have tips to share on landscaping for water conservation? Join the conversation below!

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