As the leaves on the trees have started to turn yellow, we know that fall is here. Here in the Silicon Valley in California, quite some lawns are also brown. Though California’s historic drought already ended in spring, many people keep the habit of water conservation and continue to let the lawns go brown. While this shows we have all been doing our part to conserve water which we can be proud of, the lawn, well, can look a little bit nicer……here comes the good news: fall is a very good time to remove the lawn, plant water efficient plants and have a beautiful garden! Not only is the time great for plants, thanks to landscape conversion rebate programs such as the one offered by Santa Clara Water District, by doing it now, you may also receive some rebates.
Fall is one of the best times for planting
Fall is one of the best times in the year for planting. There are several reasons for this.
- Temperature. Very cold winter and very hot summer days can be harsh for young plants. Fall offers the optimal temperature.
- In time for the rainy season. After plants are placed in soil, to establish and grow in the new place, they need the soil to be wet enough so the roots can stabilize and grow. With California’s Mediterranean climate, the rainy season comes in winter and early spring. When planted in fall, the plants have the right amount of time to settle in the new environment, and take the full advantage of rains when they come in winter.
- Great for spring bloomers. A lot of plants bloom in spring. If they are planted in fall, by next spring some of them may grow enough to bloom. Blossom in spring – what a lovely view!
- Good for pollinators. Most of the plants in a water efficient garden can provide food for bees, butterflies and other pollinators, which are so important for us. However, their population have been on a decline. Bees need more plants that they can feed on. By growing plants in fall, come spring time bees will have much more places to go to have their meal.
Many beautiful plants to choose from
There are a large collection of plants that are both water efficient and beautiful. If the lawn is replaced with plants that are on the Qualifying Plant List of Santa Clara Water District Landscape Rebate Program, it is eligible to receive the rebate of $1 per square feet. Browse some of these water efficient plants here.
Planted in fall, bloom in spring
These two gardens were planted in last fall, after just a winter, they all grew phenomenally and bloomed in spring this year. Last winter was one of the wettest on record, which definitely helped. This California native garden was installed last October. How long did it take to bloom? Less than half year! And it lasted all the way through summer.
This garden was installed in late last fall. It also bloomed in early spring, just several months after the installation.
Conserve water, enjoy the garden
A beautiful garden is not only something you can enjoy everyday, but will also go a long way to conserve water. Although California’s drought already ended, as Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement, “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner. Conservation must remain a way of life.” Outdoor watering for a lawn typically accounts for half or more of an household’s total water use; to convert a lawn to a water efficient garden, the water consumption for outdoor watering can be reduced by 30 to 60%, for total household 15 -40%. You may receive rebate by removing the lawn and putting in water efficient plants now ($1 per square feet if all requirements are met). Find out more about the Santa Clara Landscape Conversion Rebate Program here. Why wait? Now is the great time to plan and build that lovely water efficient garden! Find out more information at WaterEfficientGarden.com.