L.A. Lawn Care Myths – Busted!

L.A. Lawn Care Myths – Busted!

Life would be a lot less exciting if we knew everything to be true. I mean, there’s room for the Sasquatch, UFOs, and chupacabras along with the other mundane stuff we need to know in our collective unconscious – myths help to add a bit of flair to everyday living. Lawn care is just like every other topic you can think of – it has myths that have, much to your lawn’s chagrin, endured. Here are some of the biggest Los Angeles lawn care myths – busted!

Myth No. 1: Los Angeles is Located in the Desert

This one is important to your lawn because there are very different ways to care for a lawn in the desert than one, well, not in the desert. Las Vegas is a city in the desert, as are some eastern California locales such as Barstow. Los Angeles, however, gets too much rainfall per year to ever be considered strictly desert. Los Angeles is semi-arid, and waters from the mountains and hills surrounding the city help to keep groundwater levels relatively high in the summer months.

The other side of the coin, however, is the myth that Los Angeles is a lush tropical paradise. All you have to do is drive through Santa Monica or Beverly Hills to take in all the citrus trees, palm trees, and bougainvillea, but that’s all been manufactured through a whole lot of lawn care and maintenance. Los Angeles doesn’t naturally support that kind of landscape either, so millions of gallons of water must be pumped in throughout the year to make it a reality.

Myth No. 2: During Seasonal Drought You Should Stop Watering Your Lawn

Even though we’ve determined L.A. isn’t in the desert, it does go through periods of seasonal drought. In a time of drought, people are encouraged to stop using water frivolously. One solution many people assume is correct is to just stop watering their lawns, but this is not the right strategy.

When you suddenly stop watering your lawn you take the chance of damaging the health of your soil, creating what is commonly referred to as “dead soil.” Sounds like Bruce Campbell should be waiting around somewhere with a chainsaw, I know.

See, your lawn supports a tiny ecosystem. Underneath the ground, there are living things that need water to survive, and those living things help to balance out the ecology of your soil. When you suddenly stop watering your lawn all together you are basically sacrificing this delicate ecosystem when you don’t have to!

Seasonal droughts aren’t an all or nothing scenario. Sure, you may not be able to keep your grass from turning brown but you can water every once in a while to help maintain a balance for all the things living below your grass. You can also throw on some kind of organic matter such as dead leaves or mulch that will decompose on it in order to keep the soil healthy.

Myth No. 3: Drought-Resistant Plants Don’t Need to Be Watered

Native gardening is popular in Los Angeles, and many people add low-water succulents into the mix in order to try to use the least amount of water possible while still maintaining a beautiful lawn and garden. This is a great idea, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to water these plants. This is especially true when you add new plants to your landscaping. As they go through a period of establishing themselves you need to make sure to water them more than you would once they have fully taken root.

If you’re thinking of transitioning your garden to a more native landscape, you should focus on doing this in the fall or winter months. This way the plants can establish themselves on native rainfall and those plants will turn out to be all but bulletproof!

If you ever have any questions about caring for your Los Angeles lawn and garden, the pros at Lawn Love are here to help!

Sara Butler

Sara Butler has written scores of articles for Lawn Love -- everything from how to revive your dead lawn to how to start to lawn care tools every homeowner should have.