Gardening during a drought isn’t easy. Artificial turf and native plants can help.
It requires time, strategy, and resources that can become costly if not used carefully. So, are you planning to redo your yard and garden this year?
Here’s what you need to know.
What You Need to Know About Gardening During a Drought
Despite recent weather, you still have to watch the water intake. But with native flowers and a no-water lawn, you can have a lovely garden.
At first, it looks like California’s long water woes are over — Lake Oroville’s water level jumped several feet during one day, the snowpack is blessedly close to normal (even over normal in the northern Sierra) and lower elevations have received so much rain that urban areas have experienced unusual flooding.
However, the immediate story doesn’t reflect reality: While the rain and snow have had some effect, they haven’t ended the drought, nor do they guarantee that there will never be drought again. Water conservation remains a central feature of life in California.
Your yard and garden don’t have to suffer. One of the benefits of artificial turf is that your yard will always look green. There are many types of artificial turf, some have shades of gold, some are greener than others. There’s a type of grass that looks like natural grass for every region. Once you’ve installed artificial turf, then all you need is to plant native plants to give your yard a final touch.
Native flowers work well with local pollinators and don’t need extra help to keep growing. While many still need some water, they can stand drier conditions.
As you look for flowers that you want to plant, concentrate on those that are native to your region, and not just the state. Remember, the climate in one part of the state can differ greatly from areas in the next county. If you’re on the Ventura coast, for example, bush rose mallow (Lavatera assurgentiflora, aka island shrub mallow and malva rosa) is great for hedges in salty coastal areas. (Note that this is not the same plant as “rose mallow.”) The mountain bush sunflower (Encelia actoni) is native to the high desert near Joshua Tree and grows well in similar hot, dry climates with cold winters.
Still, you’re going to want some open space. But instead of planting real grass that requires weekly watering, use artificial grass. Other than a little water to rinse it off occasionally, artificial grass requires nothing, freeing up water for your flowers and other plants. With conservation so important to maintaining a good quality of life in California, every little change helps.
Read more about artificial turf: