by Jordan Laio, Networx
Clean water is one of the fastest diminishing resources on the planet right now. Besides literally flushing it down the toilet, we also sprinkle a lot of it on our lawns… which is basically the same thing as flushing it down the toilet. It is not uncommon for a lawn to consume four times as much water as all the rest of your landscaping.
When you live west of the 100th meridian, where rainfall is much more scarce compared to east of the 100th meridian, it’s a little insane to expend such a valuable resource on an investment with meager returns (yeah, a well-kept lawn looks good, but that’s about it). But, like Benjamin Franklin quipped, only “when the well is dry, [do] we know the worth of water.”
Uncle Sam Wants You to Green Your Garden
Some forward-thinking municipalities have started offering rebates to individuals willing to replace their lawns with drought-resistant plants. For instance, the Santa Clara Water District was recently offering rebates up to $3,000 to entice people to replace grass lawns with less thirsty plants.
While ripping out your lawn and planting a native species garden in its place is a very smart thing to do and an excellent step towards water conservation, maybe you’re not ready for that type of change.
Start With the Flowers
A simple way to make your yard more green (both literally and figuratively) and colorful at the same time is to start by switching out more water-thirsty flowers for drought-resistant ones.
A great first step is to look at local native flowers, especially if you live in an arid region. To do this, stop by your local public library or speak with someone from your local county extension office.
Plants native to arid climates are designed to withstand extended periods of drought. For instance, the California poppy (or golden poppy) grows throughout the Southwest. It is drought tolerant and tough like a weed, and yet its petals are delicate and beautiful enough to be the California state flower.