On July 15, 2015 the California Water Commission passed a new ordinance drastically altering the future of landscaping. The classic California dream of palm trees surrounded by a lush green lawn seems to be evaporating with our lakes, rivers, and dams.
Any new landscape installations over 500 square feet will be limited to about 25% turf, according to the Los Angeles Times. This includes residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional projects. Current property owners with more than 2,500 square feet of outdoor space considering a redesign will also be subject to new, severe restrictions.
Further compounding this new ordinance is the fact that these numbers are only the minimum; each water district in California has the authority to initiate more stringent regulations.
The California Water Commission predicts these measures will reduce landscaping water usage by roughly a third, while the Los Angeles Times expects residential landscaping to decrease by 20% and commercial by 35%.
Small property owners and corporate campuses alike are looking for alternatives to dull cement structures, prickly desert-scapes, and suspicious glares from neighbors while the pool gets cleaned each week.
California Farm and Garden has already established that edible gardens, using proper irrigation methods, are water conscious and exempt from California’s watering-schedule restrictions. We’ve also verified that fruit and vegetable beds qualify for both the residential and commercial SoCal WaterSmart Turf Removal Rebates in San Diego. Lastly, we’ve examined the water used and money saved by replacing grass with edibles.
The benefits of a fruit and vegetable garden don’t stop there. The value of fresh, organic produce traveling mere feet instead of 1,500 miles, while going through a half-dozen hands, before landing in your kitchen is nearly priceless. The benefits only becomes more incalculable when you consider the mental and physical health perks, and that satisfaction that comes with your first bite of delicious backyard produce that you grew from seed!
And how could we ignore bragging rights? Wouldn’t you rather relax in the shade under an orange tree instead of on concrete next to a Cephalocereus Senilis?