Lawn Removal Inspiration to Fight California’s Drought

In case you missed the memo: Shiny green lawns fed by sprinklers that blast water into the air just don’t work anymore in these days of persistent drought.

As the supply of water in reservoirs and wells around California continues to dwindle, we need to change what and how we are irrigating.

Public parks may be good locations for large lawns in Southern California’s low-rainfall climate, but around our homes? That has become a boon this summer for many Angelenos whose outdoor water use is limited to a few minutes a week, not nearly enough to keep a lawn alive, let alone green.

Water districts offer discounts for lawn removal, but many won’t give you money for installing artificial grass (which prevents water from flowing into the ground, which can kill trees and beneficial microorganisms in the soil) or a pile of rocks and a few cacti. Instead, you need to include drought-tolerant plants and an efficient way to water them, such as drip irrigation.

The Times has spoken to LA County residents who have mowed their lawns and transformed their gardens into fragrant, leafy, low-water havens — often with a DIY approach.

Yes, it takes work, but these yard converts are raving about lower water bills, tackling climate change, the pride they felt after completing a daunting task and finding peace in the process. Let these lawn clearing stories guide and inspire you as you rethink your own landscaping plans.

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