Landscape irrigation can account for up to 65% of water use in the Sacramento Valley. Consider removing turf and installing water-wise landscaping to cut back on irrigation use. You may also consider a weather-based irrigation controller or rain sensor. Rain barrels and grey water systems can retain irrigation water on site and reduce overall water use.
Go beyond water-wise landscaping and consider making your landscape more environmentally-friendly and sustainable in addition to reducing water usage.
Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Landscaping
- Reduce Water Use
- Less Maintenance
- Less Green Waste
- Reduce Runoff
- Improve Wildlife Habitat
- Foster Healthy Soils
- More Benefits
Tips to Create a Sustainable Landscape
Integrate Compost: improve soil health and productivity.
Mulch: conserve water by reducing moisture evaporation from the soil. Mulch can also reduce weed populations, prevent soil compaction and keep soil temperatures more moderate during our warm summers.
Harvest Rainwater: reduce stormwater runoff and keep water onsite
Utilize Grey Water: consider using grey water to supplement your irrigation
Plant Choice: choose the right plant for the right place
Save Our Water Go California Friendly (tips on making your landscape drought-tolerant)
Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (searchable plant database)
Low Water Plant Characteristics
- Grayish leaves
- Fuzzy or hairy leaves
- Thick or waxy leaf coat
- Small or needle-like leaves
- Vertically held leaves
- Plants with summer dormancy (ex. bulbs)
Plant Sun Exposure
- Sun to Part Shade: Plants should do well in direct sunlight for most of the day or shade for part of the day. Can tolerate exposure to hot afternoon sun.
- Part Shade: Plant should do well in dappled shade. Plant will tolerate sun exposure in the morning but must be protected from the hot afternoon sun.
- Part Shade to Shade: Plant should do well in dappled shade or full shade. Will tolerate some sun exposure in the morning but must be protected from the hot afternoon sun.
- Shade: Plant requires full shade. Will do best if it never gets direct sun exposure during the hot summer months.
"Life After Lawn" Local Water-Wise Landscapes
*Photo courtesy of the UC Davis Arboretum & Public Garden
Water-Wise Landscaping Resources
*Drawings courtesy of former City of Davis Environmental Resources Intern Jovita Widjaja.