Why Are Californians Switching Out Grass For Carpeting?


It's safe to say that no one is particularly enthused by the prospect of a dying, parched lawn. That's the reality that a growing number of California residents, however, are having to face. In fact, as the California drought rages on, some homeowners are even going so far as to rip up their grass -- and their lawn with it. Long Beach resident Rick Blankenship, 51, now cares for a relatively low maintenance lawn, with a natural-looking ground cover and some willow and magnolia trees for shade.

What Is A Ground Cover? Are Lawns On Their Way Out?

Professional lawn care services explain exactly what a ground cover is, and, well, it's pretty much a glorified rug. Ground covers are available in a number of different colors and textures, all meant to mimic the appearance of well-kept grass. Thanks to the lingering drought, several water and/or lawn care companies are even offering thousands of dollars' worth of incentives to homeowners willing to make the switch.

While some herald the ground covers as cost-efficient and easy to maintain, others are a little dismayed by the trend. For some, a grassy -- and more importantly natural -- lawn is the perfect place for children to play. Using a ground cover takes away from the lawn's appeal, to some homeowners.

Is There Another Way To Save Drought-Ridden Lawns?

Unfortunately, installing a sprinkler system and calling it a day isn't going to do much. If you are looking for a more natural solution, start by fixing any problem areas, e.g. you'll need a quote for dead tree removal. Dead trees in particular may not only affect the livelihood of grass and surrounding plants; they may also pose a safety hazard. Once you have a clean slate, consider replacing some grassy areas (or all grassy areas) with drought-resistant plants and flowers. Even after installing a sprinkler system that is fairly basic, drought-resistant foliage will flourish even in the worst conditions.

How many billions of gallons of water are used to upkeep our lawns? The answer is seven billion. This water, moreover, is never a guarantee. If you live in a relatively hot climate, consider drought-resistant flowers and plants for a natural and low-maintenance lawn.