Making a Move to Drought Tolerant Landscaping

photo courtesy of dan

It seems almost daily that we read about the drought affecting so many places, especially in the southern US. Places like California and Arizona are beginning to suffer the real effects of drought. We watch the news and see the reservoirs drying up. When we travel to California by car, we see for ourselves the lower levels of Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville in California.

In some places, there are now laws in effect that make using too much water illegal. Some people have been told to reduce their irrigating by 36%. There is so much water that is wasted needlessly. Since Arizona and California grow so much of the nation’s food (and we here in Canada buy USA grown food in our grocery stores), the water is needed to grow food instead of lawns.

photo courtesy of satit_srihin

photo courtesy of satit_srihin

People are being encouraged to stop watering lawns and indeed, even remove their lawns. Drought tolerant landscaping is not a new catchphrase – it has been around for years and the definition is simple. Stop planting grass and plants that need a lot of water – instead, put drought tolerant plants in their place. Desert plants are highly drought tolerant and there is a move to encourage people to put in these types of plants. They are beautiful too; the slender stalks of Ocotillo, the gorgeous flowers that top Paddle Cactus. So much beauty in plants that have grown for thousands of years in drought tolerant conditions.

As many people are beginning to question having a lawn in the first place, they begin to think of alternatives. We are beginning to see food gardens planted in front yards of homes, which is a great idea. Yes they still need to be watered, but at least food is being grown instead of grass, which offers nothing but its “good looks”. Others consider turf lawns – if you live in Arizona, check out artificial grass Phoenix Az   to see their products. Whether it’s a full lawn you want to have installed or a putting green, they have a product that will suit your needs.

What will the future hold for these states? Property values should increase for home owners who take a head on approach to reducing water consumption for their yards. Installing a turf lawn that comes with a full warranty will soon be looked upon as a way to add value to your property when it goes up for sale. How many people who buy homes, renovate and then sell them will turn to using artificial turf lawn that requires absolutely no water but always looks good?

photo courtesy of jiggoja

photo courtesy of jiggoja

Artificial turf offers good looks with very low maintenance. No edging, no mowing and most debris can be removed simply by using a leaf blower. No need to spray weed killer, zero need for water and no reactions for people suffering from allergies. Research at the link above to find even more reasons why you should consider doing this instead of seeding a lawn.

Use your water for the right things – watering a lawn is NOT one of them. I believe we are going to see more and more dry brown lawns in summertime (which is a good thing!). Grass can be left to die and will revive itself come fall if there is rain. However, in drought conditions, thought needs to be given to the future and what is the best use of the limited water available.

At this point, we have no directives coming from our local government about reducing our water usage here in the bush. People in the Cariboo who live in town and are on city water have scheduled times when they can water their lawns and flowers using sprinklers. That being said, even though it is mid-May, there are already several wildfires burning out of control. It is so early in the season, but with less snowfall last winter, combined with an early run off = dry forests and dry acreages. The potential for fires has gone way up this year.

If you live in an area where there is a water shortage, consider what your options are. Figure out the best option and then act on it. It may be in your best interest (and your property’s best interest) to look into and install artificial turf. Consider the low maintenance and the possible increase in property value and then make your decision!

What’s Growing?

non GMO

We have lift off on the few seeds that I have started for the season. Five different kinds of peppers and four different kinds of tomatoes. Today I am starting parsley, the plan being to again make a small batch of parsley wine later this year.

 

non GMO

All the seeds are heirloom and I’m growing such a variety of them because we want to save seed from each of them. The peppers and the tomatoes will be planted in the greenhouse, once it is warm enough. They likely won’t move to their new home until the beginning of June, as we have such cold night temperatures here.

 

Heirloom Tomatoes

I’ve had to start them without the lights, unlike past years. They did a LOT better when they had their own room.

 

Sweet and Hot Peppers

This year they are upstairs with us, hanging about near the windows where they can get the most light. When they get a little bigger I will transplant each into their own pot. A few years ago, I forgot to transplant 3 pepper plants into the greenhouse and here’s proof you can grow peppers in little pots.

There is a lot of yardwork to be done around here, raking and cleaning up all the flower beds. I am working on raking the worst of the lawn area, pulling up the dead grass. I have had the chickens give me a great head start with this, as they have been roaming around scratching at whatever they can find. They were doing too good of a job and starting to be a nuisance in the flower beds which is a bit dangerous at this time of year. Now they have temporary fencing set up for them, so they have the run of the grass down between their coop and the animal garden. Plenty of space for 11 girls to find something to do and eat and they are out of my hair, so to speak.