The Urn is finally in place: Now All I Need is a Garden to Go With It.
I made the mistake (a couple of years ago) to take out a lawn and put in a drought tolerant garden instead.
Well, that wasn’t the mistake really. The mistake was not telling the Water District about it. You see, the Santa Clara Santa Valley Water District has a program whereby they pay you a rebate for every square foot of lawn you take out—as long as you replace it with something drought tolerant. Even if you document your lawn removal meticulously, the county doesn’t care. If they don’t get there and document your lawn before you remove it—they don’t pay you.So this time I did it right.
I called the Water District and a nice man named Henry came out to record some information about the lawn I’m removing, and to show me how to save water with the lawn that I’m not.
I’m taking out 1,500 square feet of lawn, which means they’ll give me a rebate of $1,500 for my new garden. He told me if I wanted to remove 500 more feet of my other lawn I could have $500 more.
The rules are simple. You must replace at least 100 square feet of high water landscape with a low water landscape. This landscape must be made up of plants from the approved list on their website. www.valleywater.org/Programs/Landscaping.aspx.
Step 1: Contact the Santa Clara Valley Water District and make an appointment for a nice man or woman to come to check your yard. He (or she) will measure and give you advice and then give you the paperwork for the next step, which includes an application for the rebate.
Step 2: Complete the application and send it to the Water District.
Step 3: You then have 90 days from the date of the application to complete the work. But remember—this Water District program lasts only as long as the money does. When it runs out, no more rebates. So, the sooner you complete your project the better.
Besides drought tolerant plants, you can also replace you lawn with permeable materials such as decomposed granite, gravel, or something similar that the water can penetrate.
All exposed soil must be covered with a minimum 2” layer of mulch. You may put a permeable weed barrier under the mulch but nothing non-permeable like plastic.
You cannot replace your landscape with any of the following:
concrete or non-permeable surfaces, lawn ornaments, hot tubs, pools, lawns, building extensions, retaining walls, high water use plants, sheds, trellises, playground materials, or fences.
The irrigation system must be a drip, soaker, bubbler, micro-spray, or underground system.
Labor, installation, construction costs, delivery charges and hauling are not covered by this rebate.
More information about the rebate requirements here is the website: www.valleywater.org/Programs/Landscaping.aspx.
Remember if you are going to replace your lawn with drought tolerant landscaping, check with your city, county or water district first to see if they have rebate programs.
In the meantime, you can look at my urn.