One of the best ways you can conserve water and support the native California ecosystem is by replacing your lawn with California native plants. This isn’t just good for the environment, however. Thanks to being drought-tolerant, these natives are also good for your wallet. AND, it so happens that the best time to plant these plants is during the Autumn.Why Springtime Planting Isn’t IdealSouthern California is mainly desert and so the plants that evolved in this climate have their own cycle, which often includes going summer dormant. If a particular species doesn’t go completely dormant, it can still be sensitive to watering during the summer months. Hot, moist soil can stress, shock, and/or rot the roots of native plants. So what does this have to do with Spring?Native plants need regular watering at the beginning to establish them. Once established, they will need little to no watering and can survive in the natural course of the seasons. The key phrase here is “once established.” If you plant during the Spring, the weather is only going to get hotter and dryer, placing unnecessary stress on plants that aren’t yet established, which means you’ll have to over-water to compensate for the excessive dryness and heat, which will likely lead to root rot and death for the plant.The Ideal CA Native Planting SeasonTo avoid unnecessary stress on your plants and to help them establish as naturally as possible, plant in the Autumn, ideally in late October to early November. The temperatures are starting to cool and there is more precipitation, which gives your plants a low-stress establishment period. Additionally, the rain and cooler temperatures mean you don’t have to water as often, already saving on the water bill, and letting nature help your plants establish themselves.Examples of California PlantsEven once you’ve decided to plant a native garden, there are still choices to make regarding which plants will be best for your soil and the way the sun hits your yard. Not all plants will work in any spot in any yard. You can get ideal planting information from the plant’s description at the nursery or from a professional native landscape designer should you take that route. In any case, these are a few of our favorite CA native plants for your consideration:Apricot Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)
California Lilac (Ceanothus)
California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii)For more information on California native plants, we recommend visiting (virtually and physically) the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants in Sun Valley, California. You can also visit the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) website for information.
Saving Water, Saving ResourcesTransitioning into a native, drought-tolerant garden isn’t just about saving water, but leading a more eco-friendly, environmentally-conscious existence and that is one of our missions at Vosh. Our regular car wash uses less than three gallons of water and we also offer waterless car washes to conserve our most precious natural resource: water. For more information about us and our on-demand car wash app, visit http://vosh.me/about.html.