Opinion: Goodbye grass, lawn after: Water-conscious gardeners face brutal California drought

Editor’s Note: Christian Vescia is an instructional designer for a San Francisco fintech company and an avid gardener. The views expressed here are his own.read more opinions on CNN.


A few months ago, I said goodbye to my front lawn. In the city of San Carlos, California, where I live, many people are changing their landscaping to reduce their water use, and lush lawn carpets are not a thing of the past, but they are much less common. It is disappearing. My wife and I wanted to do our part too, but weren’t ready to implement a complete xeriscape solution with succulents and desert plants.

Like many places we are facing Obvious effects of climate change Here in the San Francisco Bay Area. On Labor Day weekend, heat wave Send the thermometer to a scorching 108 degrees, More than 20 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normalWe are also experiencing years of drought.In fact, in 2022 California’s driest year on recordThe wildfires raging across the state are another reminder of just how severe that drought has become.

While beautiful enough to make a plush lawn carpet, the hundreds of gallons of grass needed to maintain the three lawns on our property (front lawn, back lawn, and third lawn above). Couldn’t justify using water. Backyard terrace.

Christian Vessier on the front lawn -- where the lawn has been replaced with a low-water ground cover.

Our family has always been very careful with water usage. It influences the way we shower (short), wash the dishes (don’t flush and reuse the rinse water in the next pot), and wash our produce (lettuce and vegetables). before watering the garden plants).

Climate change has me and many of my neighbors looking for more ways to save water. As an avid gardener, the next step for me was to find ways to conserve water in my garden. I started by removing most of the grass.

In some parts of California that were more drought-stricken than us, Residents are paid per square foot to remove their lawn. Even without such a rebate, some homeowners in my area are willing to put succulents in their front yards and include plants like cacti and agave to make them not only less watery, but mostly watery. But I wasn’t sure it would work with the rest of our garden. looks out of place with these plants.

We decided to replace the front lawn with a low water ground cover and remove the small back lawn entirely. A crushed gravel patio is set up in the back, and you can dine outside in the garden. I like to have a moderately sized lawn at the top of my backyard and sit alone or with guests in the evening.

Honestly, removing the lawn in the front yard wasn’t just about saving water. Also, I have come to feel that maintaining the lawn is troublesome. I was tired of mowing the lawn every other week. And I’ve never been a fan of weeding, so I had to scissor my hands and knees down to trim it to edging the lawn.

My wife, Lucia, and I have researched several different types of grass that use different types of grass. However, many of them did not work well with existing landscaping. We also investigated drought-tolerant groundcovers. Ultimately, based on the suggestions of some friends (one of whom used to work for a municipal water supply), we decided to plant a groundcover native to Asia. Kurapia That is drought tolerantt and uses significantly less water than traditional lawns. 80% reduction According to some studies.

I’ve read that crapia roots end up 5-10 feet down, so they can withstand drought. It grows about 2 to 3 inches tall and is nice and green with attractive little white flowers. You can prune it if you want it to grow a little more densely, but that might mean doing it once or twice a year.

Many people don’t like alien plants. Kurapia is sterile It is sprouted so that it does not spread where it is not planted. Many people have asked about it while taking a walk in the neighborhood. Most people are looking for alternatives to maintaining a water-thirsty lawn or having dead patches of ugly brown grass in front of their homes.

Switching from lawn to this ground cover has never been cheaper. The plants I needed for her 1,000 square foot front yard cost about $900 and the gardener took him over a day to install them. However, we do expect to be able to recoup some of that cost with lower water bills as a result of replacing or removing most of the lawn. I love the fact that I don’t have to go back and forth on the lawn every two weeks.

For all of us living in the western United States, knowing where our water is coming from is important. Then you can see how difficult trade-offs we have to make between her three main uses of water: agriculture, urban water use, and maintaining a healthy environment. increase. Awareness of the limits of our supply highlights the critical importance of conservation and motivates us to look for new ways to reduce water use.

Not only do you save water in your garden, but you can do things around the house too. Turn on the recirculation pump with your wireless remote control before you take a shower to pump hot water through the pipes into your bathroom. We also utilize county-level conservation programs. For example, they used a $300 rebate from the county to replace an old washing machine with a modern front-loading model that uses much less water. This rebate reduced the cost of the machine by nearly 30%. A new washing machine weighs the load before the cycle to determine the amount of water required for the size of the load.

Between the nice unmowed green ground cover in the front and the new gravel patio in the back, we are very pleased with our new yard and reduced water usage. We ordered a nice extendable outdoor table so we could eat outside.

I’m about to retire, and one of the things I look forward to is cooking lots of meals, inviting friends over, and dining outdoors in my garden backyard. There is hardly any grass growing there now.

Source: www.cnn.com

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