Thirsty Lawns: Brown is the New Green

By Joshua Burman Thayer | June 17, 2015
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plants in backyard

As a nation, we spend over $26 billion per year on lawns. Not only are our lawns expensive, they also are insatiably thirsty. According to the Los Angeles municipal water district, the average lawn requires the equivalent of 84 inches of rain per year. For much of the nation, that exceeds sustainability. In drier areas, such as the Bay Area which receives 20-40 inches of rain per year, that disparity is striking. The average Californian uses up to 130 gallons of water per day, half of which goes to the garden outside. If you are ready to transform your space, here is the first, simple thing you should do…

Start by discontinuing watering your thirsty lawn! Next, consider planting edible drought tolerant species instead (listed below). They will provide home grown food while only being watered 1-2 times per week. After planting, mulch with wood chips 3-4 inches deep, being sure not to bury the base of each plant.

Perennials

Olive

Pomegranate

Fig

Grape

Kiwi

Annuals

Amaranth

Quinoa

Scarlett Runner Beans

Arugula

Pollinator Attractors

Mexican Marigold: tegetes lemonii

Yarrow: achillea millefolium

California Fuchsia: zauschneria california

Joshua Burman Thayer is a Permaculture Designer based in San Francisco, California. 

Article from Edible Silicon Valley at http://ediblesiliconvalley.ediblecommunities.com/food-thought/thirsty-lawns-brown-new-green
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