With dry hot summer weather comes wilting grass and plants. If necessary during droughts cities throughout Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland introduce watering bans. Recently water levels in reservoirs have been dropping and more and more places are either banning residents from watering their lawns and yards or calling on residents to limit their water use.
During watering restrictions and generally when planning your landscape design you can make a number of strategic choices that reduce the amount of water your yard needs to look its best. This means when there is no drought you’ll spend less time worrying about watering. During a drought a watering ban will have less of an impact on you and how good your yard looks.
Here are some tips on how to landscape your yard for water efficiency.
Go lawn free
Lawns are water guzzlers. Keeping blades of grass green takes either lots of rain or frequent watering. Designing your yard to have a small lawn space or no lawn at all means you need to water a lot less. You’ll also save a lot of time on mowing.
The change can be dramatic and hard to make for many homeowners who are used to the idea of a green lawn in front of their home. There are alternatives that can leave your yard looking just as good if not better.
Plant low water species
Different species require different amounts of water. Some are finicky and wilt after a few days. Other species are much hardier and will thrive even during dry hot weather. Research species that perform well in dry environments and plant these instead of other more common varieties. You can also plant local varieties that have evolved to do well in the area you live in. They are used to precipitation levels and will be easier to take care of in the long run. Pick species that can suffer weeks of neglect and still look good.
Pavers can cover large sections that previously had a lawn on top of them. They require no watering and minimal maintenance. If you are worried about losing moisture penetration to the soil beneath you can use porous pavers or leave gaps in between.
Expand your deck
You can take out a section of lawn and replace it with a new deck. You can expand an existing deck, add a new tier or create a new low maintenance seating area where you have grass planted at the moment.
Gravel looks good even on the hottest and driest of days. It acts as a nice decorative ground covering while still letting moisture through on rainy days.
Use artificial turf
Artificial turf has been getting more and more like the real thing in recent years. It now looks quite a lot like grass and has a similar texture. Homeowners with dogs or kids who don’t want to lose out on having a lawn all together often opt for this low maintenance option. It requires no cutting or watering to look perfect year round.
Let your grass yellow
If you’re on vacation or there are watering restrictions in place you can let your grass yellow without having it create long-term damage. Grass can do dormant during dry and cold times and then return to normal later on.