Landscaping During a Drought

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RENO, NV - The grass isn't always greener on the other side, especially during a drought. So what can we do to keep our lawns looking nice without breaking the bank? After spending years in a drought, many of you are considering getting rid of your grass entirely. Before you pull drastic measures, there are some other options.

For the past 15 years, grass covered Corby Agid's front yard, until recently.

"I think we're going take the grass out and put in a lot of decomposed granite and some boulders and drought tolerant pants," the Double Diamond resident said.

Agid's tired of paying double on his water bill, so he started to Xeriscape his front and back yards.

"I think it will pay for itself with just a couple of seasons of water," he said. "It's probably a lot less hassle than mowing, weeding and everything else."

It will save him some grief from his Homeowners Association.

"Once the spring is here, we look for a green lawn that's well kept, doesn't have weeds in it, doesn't have too much clover in it," said Denny Sauer, vice president of the Double Diamond Ranch Association.

Because of the severity of the drought, the Double Diamond HOA is looking to relax some of its lawn care restrictions to save you some money.

"Some people think you have to water it for 20 minutes and after the first 7 minutes, the water is just washing down the drains," Sauer said.

Turf can significantly cool down your house, but like Agid, many people are looking to get rid of all their grass.

"If you plan on living on your property for another 10 years or even five years, you can take it out and create a beautiful landscape with a third of the turf and probably using 1/10th of the water you're using now," said Steven Fine, a spokesperson for Signature Landscape.

Before you fork out thousands of dollars, there are cheaper alternatives, like changing your sprinkler nozzles. You'll save 20-30% on your water bill right off the bat.

Changing those nozzles would be 1/20 of the cost of ripping out turf. You can find nozzles at your local garden shop.

"If there is anything I can say that is the most important thing you should do once a year in your grass, if not twice a year in the fall, would be to aerate your lawn," Fine said.

Fine also suggests checking for leaks in your sprinkler system, which could save you thousands of gallons of water a month on your power bill.

Fine also suggests checking for leaks in your sprinkler system, which could save you thousands of gallons a month on your power bill.