GOLETA, Calif. - Even in the extreme drought declared by weather experts, you can still have a green lawn, and a healthy garden.
Landscape Architect Billy Goodnick says there are many ways to keep your property beautiful and alive without running up a big water bill.
Homeowner Nicole Strasburg in the Goleta Valley has redesigned her landscaping and worked with Goodnick on ideas that fit her property and her water budget.
"Low water, low maintenance, and interesting architectural plants," said Strasburg about her plan.
When it comes to over or under watering,Goodnick said, "people look at their garden whether it's a lawn or a shrub, and say 'oh the soil looks dry, I need to water it.' Unless they have X-Ray vision, you really don't know how moist it is down in the root zone."
He suggests a probe tool that is able to show you what the soil is like, down under.
The lawn area he tested only needs water twice a week.
He also says small lawns can be attractive, and fit your needs very well. "We have lap pools, have a lap lawn just wide enough to throw the Frisbee and the dog turns around and comes back," said Goodnick.
Drought tolerant plants only need water every three of four weeks, and they handle the hot weather well.
"All of the ornamental plants are doing well, they are thriving. A lot of them woke up during the heat wave," said Goodnick.
Once the landscaping project was done, it's been time to enjoy it without a lot of extra work.
"So we come out and putter for a couple of hours a week and that's all the gardening we do. Just pulling out some dead brown leaves. The rest of the time we're out here looking at it, and enjoy it," said Strasburg.
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Billy Goodnick is also the author of : Yards-turning any outdoor space into the garden of your dreams