Do you want that eco-friendly, lush, beautiful California garden this year? You’ll need a few hearty tips to accomplish that goal. The southern California summers are warm and dry, providing the perfect environment for plants that sustain lengthy dry spells. The natural landscape includes a reduced demand in irrigation, a reduction in chemicals, healthy soil, and a reduction in maintenance needs. Compared to plants brought in from other areas, natives are easier to plant and to maintain. Building an eco-friendly garden in the South Bay area requires planning, but results in impressive garden spaces that thrive well in the area.
Keep It Native
The first step in creating a pristine eco-friendly garden is to invest in local supplies and plants. Using the local, drought tolerant foliage helps save water and reduce maintenance requirements. The plants help conserve gallons of water for every home while providing lawn shade and garden beauty, as well as sustaining native butterflies and birds. Further, imported plants cause unnecessary strain on the surrounding environment, changing the ecosystem and introducing foreign species that might harm native plants or animals. Everything, from the fertilizer, to the mulch, to the flowers and trees fare better if they are local.
Plan the Garden
Plan to use few pesticides, and if they are necessary, make sure to check California’s pesticide use laws. Try to use natural pest remedies, such as wiping leaves or allowing natural predators access to plants. Group the desired plants into different zones dictated by actual water needed, best type of soil, and necessary sun exposure. For example, use full-sun plants near pristine water fountains and along walking paths. Plan turf only as necessary for a play area, then water on a predetermined cycle. The right watering cycle will help the turf grow deep roots, reducing its need for water by a third. Consider using a turf that needs less water overall to further reduce water use. After the plants are set in the landscape, use a weather-based controlled zoned irrigation system that will automatically water plants on a schedule, according to the current predicted rainfall. Make use of soaker hoses, drip irrigation, and micro sprays to avoid over-watering. Keep these irrigation systems running smoothly through general maintenance and repair. Check with the local California Water Service, as some areas offer rebates to homes that install certain types of sprinklers for water conservation.
Keeping the soil healthy between growing seasons, and while building the landscaping, will help native plants stay healthy. Replace chemical-based fertilizers with locally grown compost to help build plant roots. Worm composting is also a terrific root strengthener. This type of compost, also called vermiculture, creates a liquid fertilizer that feeds plants continuously. Ask the local refuse company about obtaining compost or worm bins, as California encourages use of natural fertilizers over chemicals.
Beautiful landscaping is available through California’s natural plants and supplies. Maintain resources and reduce time spent tending to the garden by sticking with California’s various species.