Drought Tolerant, Low Maintenance Gardens
California native plants, succulents and plants native to Mediterranean regions of the world are well suited to the short, wet winters and long, dry summers characteristic of the Bay Area climate. Many of these plants have low maintenance requirements, yet make your garden attractive, colorful and diverse while enabling you to conserve water compared to more traditional landscapes.
Dirt Girl Gardens can share a variety of strategies to conserve water in your garden while still keeping your plants happy and hydrated. From reprograming irrigation systems or switching to drip irrigation, reserving water from household use, and selecting native and drought tolerant plants, there are many ways to reduce water use in your landscape. Many counties are currently offering rebates for lawn conversion and weather-based irrigation systems; find more at http://bayfriendlycoalition.org/LYL-rebates.shtml
Grow fresh, healthy and delicious food for your family. In the Bay Area, we can grow food year-round, including many species of annual and perennial vegetables, fruits and nuts. See our Grow Your Own page for more.
From themed garden beds (Pizza bed, Salsa bed, Zoo bed, etc.) to the perfect hiding spot, there are lots of ways to create a family-friendly garden with places for kids to play, explore, learn and snack! Engage children in planning, planting and harvesting in your home or school garden. See our Kids Gardening page for more.
Permaculture design is based on the principles of earth care, people care, and resource share, and often incorporates agriculture (or urban agriculture). Permaculture gardens are designed to mimic natural ecosystems and patterns, organizing elements so as to maximize beneficial connections.
California Natives Gardens
Go local, plant what thrives here naturally! Using California native species, you can have an extremely low water, low maintenance garden that attracts native bees, butterflies, birds and beneficial insects. These plants have adapted to survive long, dry summers, short, wet winters, hard clay or Serpentine soils and the coastal influences of the Bay.
There are numerous low water, hardy options in place of a traditional lawn, and which are better suited to our drought-prone climate. From creeping groundcovers to native seed mixes to bunch grasses, these turf alternatives require less irrigating and fertilizer, and little to no mowing, saving time, energy and valuable resources.
Chickens are fun, entertaining and productive backyard pets. Learn how to keep chickens, including good coop design, nutrition and health, egg production and culling.
Build topsoil and improve soil health and structure by adding rich, organic material that slowly breaks down in place. Sheet mulching reduces weeds, improves moisture retention and builds healthy soil.