Posts Tagged succulents

Five Tips Water Saving Tips

This year we’ve had pretty bad drought conditions here in Southern California.  In fact, we’ve had drought conditions for a few years now.  This means we want to get the most out of every single drop of water we use. Here are five water saving tips for your yard:

Tip #1: Water your yard in the early morning – preferably right before the sun comes up and the heat of the day begins.  This will give the water a chance to sink into the ground and won’t flood your lawn all night long.  A great way to do this for any night owls out there – or just people who don’t want to wake up before dawn – is to set your sprinkler system on a timer.  Rich Soil

Tip #2: Keep composting.  There are a lot of great ways to compost.  You can use mulch from your compost pile, you can buy compost, and you can leave the grass on  your lawn as you mow.  These will all help the health of your soil and allow it to retain water better.

Tip #3: If you’re planting in a container, choose what you use carefully.  A metal container will heat up quickly and make water evaporate faster.  An unglazed clay pot is porous and will cause moisture loss through the clay itself.  One way to combat this problem in pots is to find a good, rich soil that will hold moisture.  Cactus Garden Window

Tip #4: Plant California natives, succulents, and cactus instead of their water-guzzling friends and neighbors.  I just wrote a recent blog post about designing a drought-tolerant yard.

Tip #5: Consult with a landscaper.  One of the best ways to utilize water properly in your yard is to design it in such a way that no water goes to waste.  Get in touch with your local landscaper about how to best design your space so it’s both water-efficient and your dream yard.  It can actually help you save money in the long run.

Here’s to some rain!!!

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Designing a Drought Tolerant Yard

This time of year is usually filled with chilly weather and rainfall, but so far it has been dry and warm here in Southern California.  This may lead to some strict rules regarding watering ever-thirsty lawns.  So, instead of adding to the problem, here are some ideas for a drought tolerant and beautiful yard:

Go native:  Penstemon Husker's Red

We have so many wonderful native plants here in Southern California – and because they are native they are perfectly suited to our weather.   Some really wonderful plants are: Baby Blue Eyes, Black-Eyed Susan, Buckeye, California lilac, California poppy (our state flower), Calliopsis, Chaparral, Desert Evening Primrose, Fir, Fried-Egg Flower, Godetia, Hollyhock, Hummingbird Trumpet, Joshua Tree, Lavender, Penstemon, Ribbon bush, Sea Pink, and Sedum.

Plants that are used to our climate and the cyclic droughts we have can survive better with less water than plants from areas that get a lot of water.

Plant succulents: Stonecrop

Succulents and cactus are a natural fit for our desert-y climate. They hold in water for a long time and can survive in hot, dry weather.  Some great cactus plants and succulents for the yard are: Agave, Aloes, Bunny Ear Cactus, Campfire Crassula, Desert Rose, Golden Barrel Cactus, Hens-and-Chicks, Macho Moca Mangave, Star Cacti, and Zwartkop.

Utilize artistic arrangements: iStock_000010193902XSmall

Don’t just use plants to decorate your yard. Try out gorgeous rocks, arrange outdoor art pieces, or set up a dry fountain and plant it with succulents. There are such a huge variety of stone, brick, cement, and even metal materials you can use to make your yard look amazing without having to water it.

Even if you don’t go grass free, you can find many water saving tips and suggestions here.  Here’s to some rainfall this year!

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Fire Prevention Landscaping

While it doesn’t seem like there’s any need to think of fire season at the moment, there are actually things you can do starting this Spring to help prevent fires around your home:

– Create a succulent and cactus garden.  Succulents and cacti retain water, so they Succulent Plantdon’t need to be watered much in general, and they aren’t likely to go up in flames very easily.

You can change this theme up by planting a succulent ground cover in empty patches of garden that would normally collect weeds, dried leaves, and other eye sores and possible fire starters.

– Plant a variety.  Having several different types of plants means that you have something in season all year round.  This helps with fire prevention as you are unlikely to have dead wood or dormant plants.

– Invest in hardscaping.  If you don’t really have the time to keep a yard of plants up, try hardscaping areas you’d rather utilize for relaxation, parties, family gatherings, etc.

– Keep up any plants you have.  If you have a tree, ensure it gets trimmed at the appropriate time.  Make sure to pull up anything dead, and clean up around your plants to keep them healthy and happy.

– Think about waterscapes.  Waterscaping is not only gorgeous, it is a natural fire-prevention tool.

– Ensure you understand proper fire control procedures.  This has a double meaning: 1. Ensure you have the proper tools and equipment available if you have a firepit or some kind of outdoor fireplace, and 2. Research your local requirements for a fire-free neighborhood.

Here’s to a fire-free year!

 

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Planning for Spring

This time of year is fun for planning out and preparing for your springtime plantings.  With the current chilly weather, here are some ideas to keep you occupied in your yard:Flower Borders

1. Cover up any beds that don’t have anything growing in them with mulch or cardboard.  Also, if you still have any weeds growing, they should be slowed down, so get them pulled up and out of your beds.

2. Make sure your trees are trimmed back for full growth next year.

3. Take a look at your yard.  What are your plans with it next year?  Do you need to plant hearty succulents?  Will you be trying for a California native garden?

4. Make sure you have lights in areas that are useful to you, or in areas that you want to display.

5. If you have an area you aren’t sure about, consider adding a water feature or make it a gathering space for your friends and family.

6. Finally, sit back and relax with something warm and watch the rain fall.

Here’s to a green winter and spring!

 

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