By all reports residential lawns in drought-stricken California are fast becoming another one of those quaint 20th century anachronisms . Unless you still have a compelling need to play futbol, polo, or golf in your front yard (Anglo-Saxon bowling or tennis anyone?) it’s getting hard to justify why to still keep one.
How many lawn conversions can you count in your neighborhood?
By last count, one nearby two-block span had at least five in progress (or recently completed). Here in Sonoma, we are not alone. Water agencies throughout the state report a surge in interest in turf replacement and conservation rebate programs as our unprecedented statewide drought continues. Savvy homeowners will want to take advantage of the generous incentives before the free money inevitably runs out.
Best of all, these landscaping changes are as creatively diverse and inspiring as you would expect from Sonoma Valley. The one above on Third Street East certainly caught our eye. Here’s what the owner had to say:
We had been wanting to remove the lawn for years, but could never figure out how to replace it. I hadn’t watered it at all last year, yet it survived the winter and gave us one last chance to take advantage of the City of Sonoma “Cash for Grass” program. We removed the lawn and added 2″ of compost and 2″ of mulch. We like the look of the mulch so much that we will not plant anything.
Not sure where to start? Check out these great resources:
VOMWD Cash for Grass Rebate ($0.50/sf; $550 max.)
City of Sonoma Cash for Grass Rebate ($0.75/sf; $1000 max.)
Recipe for Making ‘Lawn Lasagna’ (aka ‘sheet mulching’)
Do you live in a homeowners association (HOA) that is still stuck in the past? Existing California law (Section 4735 of the Civil Code) already prohibits an HOA from preventing you from replacing your lawn. A new bill, AB 349 which is expected to pass, would go one step further, allowing “artificial turf or any other synthetic surface that resembles grass”.
Do you have any lawn conversion experiences or pictures of your own to share? Post them below, or on our TSV Facebook page.