Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • kevin
      Kevin Harrington

      I now have a dead lawn. I refused to keep it alive because water is quite expensive and we’re in a drought that is dangerous for the ecology of California. My front yard is now a 25’x40’ patch of dirt.

      Maybe I should turn it into a succulent garden. But I wonder how maintenance intensive it will be? Will succulents survive harsh summer sunlight and heat? Can I DIY it and make it look nice? Is it expensive to do, say compared to grass? Does it save that much water?

      I'm kinda excited about the idea. Has anyone made the transition?

      📷: A cool succulent garden seen on Houzz

    • Meghan

      Most definitely YES!!! I went through this entire process over the last two years and I’m here to tell you that if you are willing to put in the sweat equity and have patience- succulents and other drought resistant landscaping can look like a million bucks and also be easy and cost-effective. Have you looked into qualifying for the Santa Clara Water rebate program? You can even get money back for replacing your dead lawn with drought tolerant plants.

    • Meghan

      Succulents are SUPER easy to care for and withstand the heat beautifully. You just have to know what you are doing when you are picking them so you fill in your yard with the right combo of heights and colors to make it look good. They propagate really easily as well so if you are patient and want to save money- plant a few of your favorites this year, and by next year you can take cuttings from them and propagate new plants from the cuttings. I literally break off pieces of mine and stick them into the ground where I want a new plant to grow. As long as they get sufficient water when they are getting established they will flourish.

    • Meghan

      I also find that it looks good to have a good mix of landscaping materials- rocks in a variety of sizes, mulch, etc. most of my materials I have gotten for free. People often list landscaping rocks for free on freecycle and neighborhood boards. I got 2 tons of wood chips free from a tree removal service who needs to get rid of wood chips. I just asked them to contact me when they had a full load of eucalyptus or redwood chips. Often times you can get free succulent cuttings in free sites as well!

    • xorius

      Our front lawn has been overgrown by weeds due to the California draught as well, and now we are debating between 1. resodding, and 2. switching out for draught resistant plants.

      I think succulents and other lower water plants would be the way to go, except that we have no idea where to start, and aren't really DIY people. I wonder if there is some secret service out there that can do a really nice succulent garden. We've stumbled upon one service that showed us some stuff they did, but it looked really sparse and not too appealing; Mostly mulch with a few succulents. Also 3-4x more expensive than just resodding.

    • kevin
      Kevin Harrington

      most of my materials I have gotten for free. People often list landscaping rocks for free on freecycle and neighborhood boards

      Thanks for the advice. I've learned on my housing project that it is costly to get rid of dirt, rock, and other landscaping materials, like $50/cubic yard and up. It's much cheaper to get new, clean dirt and rock from a quarry, delivered. I'll start looking for free materials.

      And I don't want to make mistakes on my design. Getting rid of materials is the most expensive part of redoing it.

    • kevin
      Kevin Harrington

      We're in the same situation. That's a concern of mine: I don't want it to look too sparse. I like the idea of a lively succulent garden, not just plants spaced a few feet apart. For the ~1000 sq ft of my yard that I want to landscape, a non-sparse garden could mean hundreds of plants. I wonder where you can buy succulents in bulk for a discount. Meghan's advice for getting free cuttings and multiplying a garden over time is excellent advice.

    • kevin
      Kevin Harrington

      I love your landscaping. What does your irrigation look like -- do you have most stuff on a drip system or are you using sprinklers?

      How do you combat weeds? It seems it would be easy for weeds to pop up between plants in the rainy times.

      And wow, those rebates look like they could make a dent in my budget. Did you apply/get a rebate, and if so how hard was it?

    • Meghan

      Yup! All drop system. Installed it myself so it can’t be that hard, right? 💁🏻‍♀️

      I definitely get weeds sometimes but because of the thick layer of mulch I really only get weeds at the base of other plants. I just pick them or spray them with weed killer.

    You've been invited!