Water Guide: How to Have a Sustainable Landscape in California

Written by: Ariana Montalvo

As of 2014, California was considered in a state of extreme drought. Luckily, most of California is out of severe drought conditions with the exception of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Although California is not in a D3 extreme drought conditions, saving as much water as possible is still a smart idea. There are several ways as to why a sustainable garden would positively impact the environment, but the most compelling would be the amount of water that will be saved, utilizing surroundings to compost, and using native plants to create a picturesque landscape.

To create a sustainable landscape, a rain barrel is an essential addition. A rain barrel protects water quality by not using herbicides or pesticides that might contaminate the water as it percolates through the soil and heads back to the water supply. Also, rain barrels collect water that otherwise would runoff. Instead of using clean drinking water to water plants, rainwater can be collected and used.

Another way sustainable landscapes reduce water use is by adding mulch to the soil. Mulch will hold in the water to properly hydrate the surroundings rather than evaporate.

A sustainable landscape offers the opportunity to start composting. Composting recycles, enriches, and benefits the health of the soil and your family at the same time. Composting yard and garden wastes means less material going to the landfill and more organic material for your soil. Composting can be as simple as raking leaves over your garden in the winter or as specific as indoor food composting with a Bokashi bucket or worm bins. Either way you decided to go, you will add a vibrant healthy look to your garden while at the same time reducing waste and further nourishing your soil.

The last reason why a Californian should have a sustainable landscape is the amazing excuse to utilize native plants to create a picturesque landscape. Be sure to check natural areas, local gardens, and the internet to find plants that will thrive in your climate condition. Making sure native plants and vegetables are hardy and high-yielding inside all your area’s climate, prevailing soil and elevation conditions means you use less soil additives and supplements, less water and less overall effort to see them succeed.

If you are in interested in saving water, composting, and making your yard beautiful then please consider starting a sustainable landscape. It is a great way to help the environment, especially in California, thrive.



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