When it comes to California landscaping, there are some unique challenges. Southern California especially is a very dry climate, like a desert, so there are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to your yard. Because of the dry climate, you would need a large amount of water to keep plants lush and green. Not only that, but because of California’s limited water and drought periods, it isn’t smart to use excess amounts of water on your plants. In order to create a garden that is manageable, beautiful, and environmentally friendly, keep reading.
1. Select California grown plants that are drought resistant
Native plants, or plants that originate from your area, are the smartest kinds to plant. Because they are from your region, they were made to grow successfully in your climate. When it comes to California, native plants are drought resistant – they have to be in order to survive the heat.
Check out the graphic below to see the top 5 plants that are best for your property, depending on your city.
2. Use compost and mulch
California soil tends to be low in organic matter and high in clay. To mitigate this, mulch and compost can be used to enhance your soil. Mulch insulates plant roots and minimizes water loss, which are just two of its benefits. When mulch decomposes, it adds nutrients to the soil. Organic matter is also a smart way to reduce erosion and conserve water. Because it decomposes, it will need to be replaced occasionally. Compost is another material that improves the texture of soil and allows it to absorb more water. Mulch gets placed on top of soil, while compost needs to be buried.
3. Irrigation is key
Because California is prone to droughts, water conservation is key. An irrigation controller ensures that your garden gets watered efficiently, with no extra water being wasted. You can even purchase smart controllers that automatically adjust your watering schedule according to weather data, historical weather patterns, and soil moisture. Even if you’re just working with a sprinkler, make sure that there are no leaks, it covers a maximized area of land, and isn’t watering anything unnecessary like a sidewalk.
4. Use rain water when possible
If you aren’t already collecting rain water, why not? Although rare in California, when rain does happen, it can be collected in barrels. Not only does using rainwater to water your garden reduce your water bill, but rainwater is naturally soft. This could actually be beneficial to your soil, compared to water that has been chemically treated so that it’s safe for drinking. Rain barrels usually have a spigot on the bottom that can be used to fill your watering can once it’s filled up. So get ready for the next rainy day and help conserve water!