Save Water with Turf Removal
If the record-setting heatwave of summer 2018 was any reminder; Californians, and especially Los Angeles residents, need to conserve water. While much of the state is now officially out of the drought, research done by UC Riverside shows that future precipitation in the state will likely be limited to winter months, while the rest of the year will be drier than ever.
Flores Artscape, an LA landscaping company, is on a mission to help homeowners turn their homes into environmentally friendly, California-native landscapes using their expertise of desert gardening. While the classic American landscape is a perfect green lawn, bluegrass consumes an average of 70 gallons of water per day—definitely not ideal in our dry climate.
“Low-water usage landscapes are becoming extremely popular—everything from artificial turf to decomposed granite and gravels are being used as substitutes for lawns,” says Flores executive Eric Wills. He estimates the company has replaced 700 lawns in the past 5 years, which equates to 49,000 gallons of water saved per day.
Why is grass such a huge source of water consumption? It all has to do with irrigation. In a Huffington Post article entitled, California Drought: Does Removing Your Lawn Really Save Water? Anne Phillips wrote: “The main reason why lawns use more water is the system that is used to irrigate them. The typical system uses pop up spray heads that send water up into the air and depend on most of it falling onto the ground and hopefully soaking into the soil so the roots can take it up. If it is windy or if the arc of the spray is too high, most of the water may spray on the sidewalk, street or driveway and not where you want it to go. Water will also get lost to evaporation. A typical pop-up spray head can put out four gallons per minute.”
Flores Artscape uses drip irrigation in all their drought-tolerant projects. Drip irrigation is a type of micro-irrigation that has the potential to save water and nutrients by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants. This has the added advantage in hillside landscapes by cutting down on erosion from water use.
With the wide variety of drought-tolerant plants, shrubs, hedges and trees available in Los Angeles, homeowners don't have to sacrifice style or aesthetics in order to care for the environment—and everyone wins with the water and maintenance cost savings.