In southern California, there is no doubt that over the past few years you have seen the effects of the drought. The way it probably effected you personally is to have your watering restricted to the point of having your landscaping dry up and possibly even die. Because we need to conserve water for the people and animals of our community to drink, we must prioritize this over the watering of plants and lawns. Yes, it hurts to watch all of that money that was invested in lush landscaping be lost to the heat, but to be a good citizen it is our duty to conserve.
In order to conserve water, there are measures you can take that will dramatically decrease your water usage and probably save you some money as well. One of the easiest is to not waste water on the obvious things that you can see, like washing your car in the driveway and letting water run into the gutters. Going to a carwash that recycles the water will actually help conserve water in the long run. Another way to conserve is to replace the plants that are dying in your yard with elements that are more water smart, or that use no water at all in order to look good. This is commonly known as desert landscaping or xeriscaping, and it involves using plants and elements from a desert climate in order to create a stunning yard space. These elements include pavers, lighting, firepits, BBQ grills, retaining and decorative walls, cacti and most importantly ground coverings. The ground covering you use can actually need no water, as long as you choose wisely. Some of the most popular water smart ground coverings are crushed rock and artificial turf.
Artificial turf is not technically desert landscaping, due to the fact that you are not simulating a desert environment by installing something that looks and feels like real grass. Artificial grass does in fact fit into the xeriscaping concept however in that it uses no water to look good. It is an artificial plastic product that is designed to give the lush look and feel of a real lawn while needing now mowing or irrigation. It will present a soft and stable ground covering that is perfect for family gathering spots, play areas, putting greens and pet runs. Because it is more stable and hospitable than crushed rock and not as hard as pavers or concrete, artificial grass is quickly becoming the ground covering of choice for those looking to save water and money while still keeping their backyard usable. While desert landscaping might feel more like something that looks good but is not able to be “used” as a family space, the installation of artificial turf actually makes the area even more enjoyable than if there was real grass.
The desire to conserve water and at the same time have a living space that is beneficial for use is a balance that must be struck for each homeowner. If artificial turf is not right for you, consider some ot the other water smart landscaping elements. Its time to modernize and remove that sod.