Save Water and Decrease Yard Maintenance by Reducing or Eliminating Your Lawn

Lawn removal

One of the easiest ways to significantly reduce outdoor water use is by removing or reducing the size of your lawn. On average as much as half of residential water use is outdoor irrigation, so removing underused lawns is one of the best options to dramatically reduce water use.

The District removed two of the lawns at its offices by mulching over them during the last drought. The District used two mulching techniques: including a traditional direct mulching, and a layered technique (often called the “lasagna” approach). While the direct mulching technique is faster and easier, it offers a short-term solution that works best over the dry summer months.  The lasagna method is a better long-term solution as the many layers of paper, compost and mulch will keep weeds and grass from growing back, and build rich soil for planting. The District recommends delaying planting even water-wise plants until late fall: establishing new plants is water intensive and more difficult during warmer months. 

Mulch is available for District customers though the mulch rebate program, or can be picked up for free from the County of Santa Barbara at 4430 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA. Note that turf removal is an eligible activity that can qualify customers for a rebate under the District’s Smart Landscape Incentive Program. Join the over three hundred District customers who have removed water thirsty lawns and landscaping.

(Story updated May 5, 2022)