Should You Landscape Your Yard Or Not In California?

Here in Palm Desert, it probably goes without saying that we are in a drought-prone region. Water is a precious resource that we need to use sparingly when deciding what kind of lawn we want to maintain. But it doesn't mean that we don't have options. Here are some ideas for landscaping your lawn in SoCal ranked by how easy to difficult it would be to maintain in our climate.

  1. Do Nothing: This is not actually a real option, but many people subscribe to the idea that your lawn should not require any effort whatsoever, or should be allowed to return to its "natural state." Unless your yard has historically been in a nature conservancy with only native plants, it probably will just go to weeds if not maintained or stay a dirt patch. It can also generate more run-off for dirt to wash away. If you're in a Home Owners Association (HOA), then this is not an option, and some neighborhoods and city codes may prohibit this as well.
  2. Rock Gardens / Pavers: Attractive and easy to maintain! Who says you need plants? This option may require more effort initially, but will certainly be the easiest to maintain without any watering. Just make sure kids don't walk off with your stones!
  3. Desert Landscaping: Succulents, cacti, and colorful stones are your best friends when choosing a desert landscape. Once you have cleared all the old grass and weeds from your yard, you can plant these low-maintenance plants for an eco-friendly landscape. If you\'re in an HOA, just be sure that this is allowed (even though it should be).
  4. Edible Landscaping: Edibles - they're not just for arrangements! High-density plantings like the "square foot gardening" method, in raised or terraced beds that are kept well mulched, make good use of the water they get. Not only do they provide yummy treats from your yard, but they prevent runoff and provide food and a safe environment for pollinators! It also allows you to enjoy a green space without the downsides of a monoculture grass yard.
  5. Conventional Grass Lawn: Some may scoff at trying to keep a lush, grassy lawn in SoCal, but it\'s not impossible. Of our 5 options, it is certainly the highest maintenance, but can look great and still be water efficient. Be sure to choose a drought turf grass.

Ready to landscape? Here is a handy table for how much you can expect to water your lawn, depending on the types of plants you have:

Still, have questions? Contact us for a referral to a professional landscaping service!