Stop! Put down the 10-10-10 fertilizer and park your mowers. There’s a new way to be green and earn a few bucks doing it – the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s (SCVWD) Landscape Water Rebate Program (see BAWSCA for mid-upper peninsula districts, EBMUD for east bay districts). SCVWD is offering rebates for converting lawn to low water gardens. Each square foot of converted lawn is worth $1.00; $2.00 per square foot in cost sharing cities/water districts (Palo Alto Utility, San Jose Municipal Water, and Morgan Hill). On top of that, SCVWD offers rebates on select irrigation equipment, everything from rotary nozzles to smart controllers. To qualify for the program, residents must schedule a pre-inspection survey with the SCVWD (call 408-630-2554) before beginning work.
Once qualified, you’ll be on your way towards earning rebates and conserving water. Even better, you’ll have a new garden to enjoy. There are a variety of beautiful low water plants to choose from. Lavenders and sages will brighten up any border and smell good too. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, a succulent, attracts butterflies and has clusters of flowers that age to coppery pink in the fall. For a no-mow lawn/meadow, try Festuca rubra, a native bunch grass.
Whichever plants you choose, remember to have fun, be creative, and don’t worry about spending a little bit more at the nursery. The rebates you receive from the SCVWD’s Landscape Water Rebate Program can help. For more information and a list of approved plants, visit the SCVWD website here: