Xeriscaping/Drought-Tolerant

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Hello,

I'm currently in the process of re-doing our front yard landscape. Took out the sod and thirsty plants to replace with more drought-tolerant plants. During the summer time where I live it's consistently over 80 degrees, some weeks over 90+. I plan on planting Agave's/Yucca's/Succulents, but I'm also interesting in pairing those with some plants such as sage, lavender, or salvias that tend to be pretty drought-tolerant. Would this work from an irrigation standpoint? I know the agave's and yucca's will do just find watering once a week or even once every two weeks, but I'm not sure if that would be too little for the other plants? Or would it be better to have them in another zone in the yard with their own watering frequencies?

Thank you!
 
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They will mix just fine if you use the right species. I don’t think Lavender will work, but the others will. You can use lots of natives that will get by on rainwater alone. Even with the drought we just got through. Check cal scape .org for lots of possibles for your immediate area.
 
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Last year we got a fraction of our normal rainfall and England's green and pleasant was crisp and brown, but my lavender was fine. Of course a fraction of our normal may be twice your normal, I don't know. 10.5 mm here last July
 
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We probably got less than 1. It's one of our driest months. Just checked our history and the total was 0. Natives and succulents are usually best for super-low irrigation. On the university campus we do have some non-succulent Australian natives that do fine with just rainfall. Castor Bean and Tree tobacco are invasive in our uncultivated areas.
 
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Yes, landscape with succulents looks very impressive, but usually these are small places in terms of area.
succulent.jpg
Agave and yucca, as I understand it, are native plants, of which there are so many around.

You have 2 options:

A) STAIGHT WAY. Threre are 2 Los Angeles in the USA: Los Angeles at California (USDA zone 10b) and Los Angeles located at Texas (USDA zone 9b). So check list of drought and full sun tolerant plants for USDA 10b (or 9b if you are located at TX).
If you have a pets, pay attention that some plants can be toxic to them.

Xeriscape garden is a good option kind of "did it once and forgot" if you don't want to spend a lot time with gardening.


B) DRIP IRRIGATION: if there is an opportunity and desire, you can make drip irrigation:
drip_irrigation_scheme.jpgdrip_irrigation.jpg
and water the plants individually. Fill the tank with water, open the tap and watering is carried out automatically.
In this case, you will be able to grow exotic plant species that are not ordinary for the area.
PS: Almost all of Israel uses drip irrigation.

If there are small children, it is a good option to grow something beautiful or edible in the garden with them. Or attract exotic butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.
 
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Either drip or microsprays will work for irrigation purposes and be within Water Efficient Landscaping Standards (WELS). Another resource for ideas is the WUCOLS site. Use plants labeled low or very low water usage. If you’re near an Armstrong Garden Center they have lots of knowledgeable staff to help.
 
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Another resource for ideas is the WUCOLS site.
I just checked Water Use Classifications of Landscape Species (WUCOLS) for California, it's a PDF with 160 pages of specie's water needs and even some math formulas. This can scare away ordinary gardeners.
Nevertheless, the reference to WUCOLS is very useful, thanks.

SoCalNative22 asked about plants such as sage, lavender, or salvias. According to WUCOLS:
- Salvia apiana (white sage) has VERY LOW water needs.
- Salvia argentea (silver sage) - LOW
- Salvia 'Dara's Choice' - LOW
- Salvia clevelandii & hybrids - LOW to VERY LOW
- ...

Lavenders in common have MIDDLE water needs except desert lavender.

Thus, you can choose plants with the same water needs, or you just have to water them more often.
 
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Isn't that an awesome database?! It's so thorough because most cities in the state are requiring landscaping to limit water use. Any commercial/industrial construction can't get permitted unless they follow the WELS calculations.
 
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Isn't that an awesome database?! It's so thorough because most cities in the state are requiring landscaping to limit water use. Any commercial/industrial construction can't get permitted unless they follow the WELS calculations.
Yeap! It will be very helpful to make a web interface and online access to this database, with the ability of searching, filtering and sorting.
 

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