Building Your Better Yard: Water-Saving Landscapes to Fit Your Lifestyle

Are you looking to save water while maintaining a beautiful landscape? Whether you are a master gardener or have little patience for lawn care, you can make your yard more attractive and functional while also saving water with these tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Create your own, customized water-saving landscape with techniques and technologies to fit your lifestyle and yard type.

Check out the eight different water-saving landscape types below to see which one might match your yard and lifestyle. Once you have found your better yard, learn how you can upgrade your landscape and save water with WaterSense labeled products and smart practices.

Backyard Beauty

Are you a master gardener with a variety of annuals, perennials, and vegetables in your yard? Is your landscape lush, and do you require efficient irrigation performance in a variety of climates? If you’re going for Backyard Beauty, consider these tips for your better yard:

• Plant flowers that are native to your region and don’t require much watering beyond normal rainfall.
• Group plants in hydrozones by watering needs.
• Consider installing a microirrigation system that delivers water slowly and over a longer period of time.
• Use a WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controller that will tailor your landscape watering schedule based on local weather and landscape conditions.
• Hire a certified landscape irrigation professional to conduct an audit of your irrigation system to help you find ways to improve efficiency.

Dog-Digging Dilemma

Are you a tech-savvy pet owner who thinks your phone isn’t the only thing that should be smart? Do you want flower beds kept safe from digging paws? Is your irrigation system controlled with a clock timer? Solve your Dog Digging Dilemma with your better yard:

An illustration of a woman taking a selfie with her dog, , to illustrate an LCA blog post on creating a water-saving landscape.

Playdate Priorities

Does your yard have an in-ground sprinkler system, and does your home have high water pressure? Is your yard packed with playground equipment and kids over for playdates, leaving little free time? Create a water-saving landscape to focus on your Playdate Priorities instead of lawn maintenance with your better yard:

Landscape Luxury

Do you love to entertain outdoors, but also like to travel and leave the lawn maintenance to someone else? Are you in the market for a landscape or irrigation system redesign? Your better yard can have Landscape Luxury and use less water:

  • Hire an irrigation designer certified by a WaterSense labeled program to maximize system efficiency.
  • Organize plants in hydrozones by watering needs.
  • Install a mircoirrigation system that delivers water right to the roots and reduces evaporation and runoff.

Incorporate WaterSense labeled spray sprinkler bodies and a weather-based irrigation controller into your new system.

Family Fun

Is your lawn the envy of the neighborhood? Are you picky about what you plant and when to water? Do you also like to practice sports with the kids in the backyard? Focus on Family Fun and not on lawn care in your better yard:

Low-Maintenance Living

Are you a busy working parent who wants to spend more time with the kids than your lawn? Instead of an in-ground sprinkler system, do you water with a hose hooked up to a sprinkler? Stop mowing and start Low-Maintenance Living with a water-saving landscape:

  • Replace some turf with drought-tolerant plants native to your region.
  • Place plants in hydrozones based on their watering needs.
  • Consider some type of drip irrigation technology, such as a soaker hose.
  • Water smarter by following water-wise tips, such as avoiding mid-day sun.

Urban Oasis

Are you a city-dweller with little outdoor space and a desire to make the world a better place? Do you grow your own vegetables and flowers in your backyard or balcony? Are you the do-it-yourself type, or at least willing to learn by watching a YouTube video? Create a water-saving landscape to turn your Urban Oasis into a better yard:

  • Plant drought-tolerant flowers that are native to your region and that will require little supplemental watering beyond normal rainfall.
  • Plant flowers in hydrozones based on their watering requirements.
  • Add mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and maintain healthy soil.
  • Install drip irrigation hooked to a hose bibb with a soil moisture sensor or weather-based irrigation controller.

Community Plot

Are you an avid community gardener or teaching kids how to plant and grow food? Is the garden next to a school or building with plenty of precipitation? Are you building raised beds to grow flowers and vegetables? Turn a Community Plot into your better yard:

  • Fill the garden with plants that are native to the region.
  • Arrange beds in hydrozones to simplify watering.
  • Teach kids about water conservation by using a rain barrel to collect water from a nearby roof to use for irrigation.
  • Install a drip irrigation system to deliver water slowly and over a longer period of time.