Drought Drives Many Residents to Consider Water Efficient Landscaping

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Early spring landscaping supplies

In California, drought has had a big impact on everything from how often people shower, to how they landscape their lawns. This year marks one of the worst droughts on record for the past 100 years. In an effort to proactively deal with the dwindling water supply, the Lodi Public Library in Lodi, California, has decided to give its landscaping a “less thirsty” makeover.

This week, landscapers removed green lawns that surrounded the library, and replaced them with landscaping rocks, colored mulch, and young trees. The switch will reduce water usage by approximately 30%. While this might not seem like much, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), households reducing the amount of water they use on landscaping by just 15% could save 9,000 gallons per household each year.

By using water-efficient plants and by replacing grass with landscaping stones that don’t require any watering, the library is setting itself up to be more eco-friendly in the future. Why do some plants require less water? Certain trees and shrubs, especially those native to the area, naturally require less water — they’ve adapted to living without it. This makes them better option for arid regions than, say, tropical plants, which tend to guzzle water.

What are some good drought-resistant plants for a California garden? For anyone interested in having a lawn that requires less watering, their best bet is to visit a local landscaper, because conditions can vary widely even within a single state depending on the average rainfall, soil condition, and cloud coverage. Some popular plants for native landscaping in California include milkweeds, summer holly, California fuchsia, white sagebrush, and silver bush lupine.

Regardless of what type of plant one plans on getting, mulch is a good investment either way. Besides preventing weeds from growing, mulch helps to prevent water from evaporating, allowing homeowners to wait longer between watering sessions. Many farmers in California are currently using mulch to help preserve their lemon trees and other crops. In addition to larger rocks, decorative gravel and sand can be used to create visual interest in gardens.

Do you use drought resistant plants or decorative gravel in your landscaping? Let us know in the comments. Find out more here.

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