Tired of Your Thirsty Turfgrass?
Outdoor water use in the Sacramento region accounts for more than half of a household’s total water use, which can be 250 gallons per day in the summer. About 30 percent of outdoor water use is wasted from evaporation and overwatering. Watering in the early morning hours and installing WaterSense-labeled irrigation timers can reduce this water waste.
Another option is to replace traditional cool season turfgrass with lower-water use plant options like turfgrass alternatives and turfgrass substitutes/ground cover plants. These plants are more suited to the Sacramento region’s Mediterranean climate.
Turfgrass alternatives are low-water use grasses that have the look and feel of turf grass but require half the water to thrive.
Turfgrass substitutes are lawn-like small plants that grow together to cover an area and have the same lush green appearance of traditional turf grass with less maintenance (limited mowing needed!).
Don’t Forget to Upgrade Your Sprinkler System, Too!
Important: Changing plant types doesn’t automatically reduce a household’s outdoor water use. The property’s irrigation timer and watering schedule must be adjusted to meet the reduced water needs of the new plants. The irrigation system itself can be replaced with more efficient options like drip systems.
Here are some resources:
- Tired of Your Thirsty Turfgrass?
- Turfgrass Alternatives and Substitutes Resource List
- Water-wise gardening in the Gold County Region View a variety of ground cover options and low water-use plants!
- Save Our Water Rebates Turf replacement program sponsored by the Department of Water Resources.