California Friendly Landscaping

California friendly gardens and landscapes provide numerous benefits for the environment. Not only do California friendly landscapes result in reduced irrigation demand, but they also reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, restore soil health, and result in reduced maintenance needs. There is a wealth of information available on the web regarding California friendly landscaping. Check out some of the tips and links below or attend an upcoming local workshop

  • Check out this California Friendly Garden Guide or take a self-guided tour of these local South Bay California Friendly Demonstration Gardens
  • Use native and drought tolerant plants in your garden to reduce the amount of water, fertilizer, and pesticides needed;
  • If pesticides or fertilizers are used, follow these Best Management Practices to protect human health and the environment.
  • Group plants into zones by amount of water needed, as well as soil type and sun exposure;
  • Use turf only where needed as a playing surface and water on a cycle to develop deep roots which will allow turf to stay green using 1/3 less water;
  • Choose lower water demanding variety when establishing turf such as UC Verde developed by researchers at UC Riverside;
  • Switch to smart weather-based controlled automatic zoned irrigation;
  • Use drip irrigation, soaker hoses, or micro spray systems to minimize runoff and overwatering;
  • Inspect irrigation systems regularly and fix leaks or broken sprinkler heads;

California Water Service currently offers rebates for installing rotating sprinkler nozzles and smart irrigation controllers to reduce water waste. Also, check SoCal Water$mart for information on water conservation rebates.


Healthy Soil 

  • Use compost to replace chemical fertilizers and build healthy soil and plant roots—purchase compost or make your own with backyard composting
  • Worm composting, also known as vermiculture, produces an amazing natural liquid fertilizer for plants; 
  • Contact your City’s trash hauler for information on discounted compost and worm bin programs;
  • Visit the County of L.A. Public Works for workshops that offer discounted compost and worm bins.

Check the South Bay Environmental Services Center calendar for more information on local events.