The drought situation in the Bay Area is getting dire. Once a symbol of plentiful water supplies and “California living,” lawns now symbolize excessive water use. To reduce dependence on this scarce resource, many businesses and HOAs are taking steps to improve drought management and reduce water use by removing grass. Should you rip out your lawn?
How Much Water Does My Commercial Lawn Use?
The majority of US water consumption goes toward watering lawns. Well maintained grass requires as much as 42 gallons per square foot. That might not sound like much, but when you do the math, that’s roughly 42,000 gallons per 1,000 square feet of property – and most commercial businesses and HOAs maintain significantly more. In addition to helping you meet water conservation goals, losing your lawn also lessens maintenance like mowing, edging, fertilizing, and weed control. It also reduces gas and chemicals consumed in these tasks, significantly benefitting the environment.
Tips for Saving Water on Commercial Landscape Irrigation
From plant health care and maintenance changes to ripping out your lawn, there are many ways to reduce water use on your commercial property:
1. Adapt your lawn maintenance habits for drought:
Let your grass grow longer between mowing – taller blades waste less water through evaporation. Follow local water restrictions, and don’t water on windy days when water evaporates faster. Reduce runoff by watering in multiple short sessions rather than a single long one. Be mindful to avoid watering nearby hardscaping and pavement.
2. Improve soil health:
Improving soil conditions based on soil test data is an effective way to maximize water. Our plant health care experts can design a customized plan based on your landscape’s unique soil conditions, including addressing nutrient deficits with fertilizer, managing compaction and drainage issues, and using mulch and compost to improve moisture retention.
3. Upgrade your commercial irrigation system:
Step up your irrigation system with waterwise improvements such as drip irrigation, water-saving rotating nozzles, weather-based smart irrigation controllers, and leak detection technology. Ask our irrigation management specialists about incentives available to help you maximize your investment.
4. Replace your lawn with grass alternatives:
Except for pet runs, play, and sports areas that require grass, it’s possible to do without your lawn in most cases. If you must have grass for play or pets, reduce it to the smallest size possible to meet your needs.
Create a Waterwise Commercial Landscape with these Alternatives to Grass
Our commercial landscape design experts can help you create a beautiful, grass-free landscape with:
- Artificial turf and plants
- Native, drought-resistant perennials and evergreens
- Low maintenance clover, moss, thyme, and other creeping groundcovers
- Hardscaping, including colorful gravel, stone, and mulch
- Outdoor use areas set atop permeable pavers or decking
Take Advantage of Rebates for Grass Removal
Some cities offer rebates for every square foot of lawn removed, up to a limit, requiring a certain number of plants per square foot in addition to waterwise commercial irrigation and water management improvements. These programs provide significant cash incentives toward upgrading to more drought-friendly landscaping solutions. Talk to Gachina’s friendly team to see what’s available in your area.
Is it time to rip out your lawn? ContactGachina Landscape Management at 650-853-0400 to learn more about water-saving commercial landscape improvements. Schedule a consultation for your San Jose Bay Area, Palo Alto, Burlingame, Pleasanton, Hayward, Fremont, Livermore, or Walnut Creek area property, or fill out our online contact form today.