Learn How to Landscape
San Diego offers the ideal climate for indoor/outdoor living all year long. Think about your landscape as an extension of your living space, and design a garden to live in.
The key is to replace lawn, which needs a lot of water, with plants that need less water. Citrus and avocado trees, most vegetables, and plants native to California and other Mediterranean climate zones all need less water. And your new front porch and backyard dining area won’t need any water.
Create a place to drink coffee in the morning and have friends over in the evening — under or next to a shade tree. You don’t need a deck, just gravel, or make some concrete pavers.
Grow organic vegetables in raised garden beds. Have your own little orchard. Grow a kiwi vine on the back fence.
Save the Bees
Plants native to California are home, sweet home for bees. Bee populations are dwindling -- they need new habitat and we need bees!
Meet Your Neighbors
Create a front porch where you can sit and read the mail and you’ll end up making new friends. Gravel or bark and a couple of chairs is all you need.
Reduce Water Pollution
Create a 3-foot wide, 6-inch high berm with plants between lawn and hardscape to prevent runoff from rain and sprinklers.
Shade trees make a garden comfortable, raise property values and reduce irrigation costs.
There is an endless variety of plants that thrive in San Diego’s Mediterranean climate and we group them in three categories: moderate water use, low water use and very low water use.
Moderate Water Use Plants
Use 30% less water than cool season turf
Low Water Use Plants
Use 50% less water than cool season turf
Very Low Water Use Plants
Use 70% less water than cool season turf
The best way to save water in your landscape is to group plants together based on the water use category they are in, and set your watering times based on the amount of water each group needs.
We recommend using the eGuide to a WaterSmart Lifestyle as a guide for your project. You'll find answers here to most of your questions and you can call us, too. Here's the usual process for creating a new landscape:
- Design your new landscape - decide what goes where, make a diagram and make a list of the plants and trees you want to have. Need ideas. Check our Get Inspired webpage.
- Figure out how your irrigation system is laid out now -- where each station is -- and where you'll need rotary nozzles or drip irrigation in your new landscape. If you can convert some of the sprinkler heads you have now to rotary nozzles or drip, and cap the others, this will be much easier than building a new system from scratch.
- Remove the lawn and landscaping you have now that you don't want in your new landscape. If you have nice shade trees now, we recommend that you keep them.
- Add compost to your soil in the areas where you will plant.
- Create basins in your landscape to hold rainwater, and berms around the edges to prevent runoff.
- Install paths, pea gravel and pavers.
- Install your new plants.
- Add a layer of mulch to protect soil and plant roots from the hot sun.