Drought tolerant and sustainable landscaping practices save water, reduce garden waste and take less work, saving you time and money. Many native and drought tolerant plants are also very beautiful, so you do not have to sacrifice a gorgeous landscape.
California is in a severe drought. The Governor has issued an emergency executive order to help conserve water. To support this effort visit Save Our Water, for important guidelines about conserving water.
Application of compost and mulch enhances soils by adding organic matter. Adding organic matter increases the water-holding capacity of soils, reducing erosion, and conserving water. Many California soils are low in organic matter and high in clay; compost improves the texture of these soils so water can infiltrate more easily, reducing runoff and saving that water for plants.
- Water Conservation
- Other notable water savings programs in California
- CalRecycle Resources
- Other Resources
- CalRecycle Publications and Video
- Other Related Information Sites
CalRecycle encourages the use of drought tolerant and sustainable landscaping practices and participates with many local and regional groups to spread the word about the role of compost and mulch from recycled organics in saving water and increasing the sustainability of California’s developed environment. Below are a few of the groups with which we collaborate:
- CalRecycle and the Department of Water Resources work together and promote the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance.
- The California Urban Water Conservation Council is dedicated to maximizing urban water conservation and provides resources to support this effort.
- EcoLandscape California providing education and advocacy for ecologically responsible landscapes.
- The River-Friendly Landscaping Coalition (RFLC) is a collaboration between public agencies, non-profit organizations, designers, landscape architects, and contractors in the Sacramento Region. Through sustainable landscaping practices, RFLC envisions improved health of communities and ecosystems in the Sacramento Valley and surrounding foothills.
- Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening Coalition works in partnership with public agencies, landscape professionals and property owners to create vibrant sustainable gardens.
- The Department of Water Resources is offering California homeowners two rebate programs, one for turf replacement and the installation of water efficient landscaping, and another for high-efficiency toilets.
Other notable water savings programs in California:
- The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, through its Water Smart program, sponsors turf removal for residential water customers through many of their client water agencies throughout the Southland. They also offer rain barrels, soil moisture sensors and other helpful water-saving items.
- The City of Santa Monica features water savings programs that teach the community about sustainable landscape practices. This includes a side-by-side demonstration garden with a decade of data on water savings, labor savings and garden waste reduction.
- San Diego WaterSmart program features landscape demonstrations with water savings education.
- The Inland Empire Garden Friendly program was developed to conserve water and educate the community on sustainable landscape practices.
- In San Jose a Pesticide Free Park and Demonstration Garden results in effective pest management.
- A Landscaper's Guide To Reducing Yard Waste
- Blue Barrel Rainwater Catchment System
- Erosion Control Studies/Research
- Locating Compost and Mulch Facilities
- Organics Material Publications
- Public Agency Landscape Maintenance Practices
- Sustainable Environmental Design Education
- Using Compost in Water Efficient Landscapes
- Xeriscaping-Establishing a Water Efficient Landscape
- Denver has a water saving ordinance using compost's water holding capacity. On all newly constructed premises, property owners must amend their soil with compost so that soil will retain water.
CalRecycle Publications and Video
- Best Management Practices to Reduce Production of Organic Materials in Landscape Plantings
- Reusing Turfgrass Clippings to Improve Turfgrass Health and Performance in Central and Northern California
- Reusing Turfgrass Clippings to Improve Turfgrass Health and Performance in Southern California
- Sustainable Landscaping
- Sustainable Landscape Video: YouTube (00:02:31) | Transcript (2008)
Chapter 10 of CalRecycle's 12-chapter Best Practices in Waste Reduction video. All chapters are available to watch on YouTube or our Video Central training page. Please feel free to contact the CalRecycle Office of Public Affairs for more information on the video.
Other Related Information Sites
- Bay-Friendly Landscaping for Professionals
- California Irrigation Management Information System
- California Friendly Garden Guide
- Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plants in California (WUCOLS)
- Plant Right – Invasive garden plants
- UC Agricultural and Natural Resources County Offices
- UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Project
- U.S. EPA GreenScapes Program