If you’re a homeowner, you’ve put some blood, sweat and tears into maintaining your landscape. By the end of summer lawns are sucking up all the water and fertilizer they can get and still look patchy and dry here in Los Angeles. And speaking of the water, the bill seems to get higher every year. Thankfully, there is an alternative to this escalating expense.
Adding a vegetable garden and hardscaping to your yard can go far towards reducing your water bill. You are making a safe investment in your home and increasing the value. Finally, your landscaping budget will be working double duty, providing high quality food in addition to looking beautiful.
Reducing your Water Bill.
It’s not Lawn’s fault. Grass is not meant to grow in L.A. summers. As a result, it requires an expensive amount of water to maintain the lushness we’ve come to expect. Adding a vegetable garden with drip irrigation will reduce your water bill by 70%, and you can still landscape! A native garden with water wise plants-including some grasslike shrubs- is not only beautiful but reduces your water usage by 60%-90%.
Adding Value to your Home.
Investing in your landscape is a wise bet. According to Los Feliz Coldwell Banker Realtor Kenneth Clifford, landscaping is the #1 way to add to the curb appeal of your property. If you want prospective buyers oohing and ahhing, “landscaping is what brings them in”, states Clifford. But why choose a vegetable garden over lawn or flower beds? Since 2001, the National Garden Association has reported a substantial decline in this sort of thirsty landscaping. Meanwhile, food gardens are on the rise. An estimated 43 million households are now food gardening and a whopping 21% of them were new to food gardening in 2009.
It’s the Home Value Add you can Eat.
In addition to having something beautiful to look at, you will be taking money away from the grocery budget and putting it towards growing your own food. Adding 100 square feet of gardening space can produce 300-500 lbs of organic produce per year. Organic produce clocks in between $2-$8 per pound at most markets. Gourmet ingredients can cost up to $25 per pound. Growing these items in your home garden not only improve on freshness and taste, but your landscaping dollars will also offset your grocery bill.
Home on the Farm.
Money aside, having an edible landscape in your backyard is the perfect way to relax after a long day. Fire up the grill, and go take a walk through your garden to see what’s for dinner. Maybe some grilled zucchini and eggplant? A salsa with your fresh tomatoes for fish tacos? It might be hard to walk back to the kitchen without biting into a fresh persian cucumber or green bean. The best ingredients are right outside, and there’s been no better time to stop landscaping and start farmscaping!