Want to know to maintain a beautiful yard despite water restrictions in place?

States that get a large amount of water from nearby states may not allow washing your car or watering your lawn when watering bans are in effect, which means your yard is at risk of turning brown during the ongoing drought in the south west.

If you try to get away with it, you can face some steep penalties. Some governors even wants to fine water wasters up to $10,000 in effort to encourage water conservation.

How to Maintain A Beautiful Yard Despite Water Restrictions

There are a few things you can do to get started.

Start with the most convenient for you, then build upon it as you expand your efforts to conserve water in the yard.


Make sure you have a thick layer of organic mulch in your planting beds around ornamental trees and hedges. Mulch retains moisture and dissipates heat. Rubber mulch is better than nothing, but it is not able to retain as much moisture. Be sure to fluff the thick mat of mulch with an iron rake in the spring. You may not even need to add any additional mulch, saving you more money. Mulch that is not matted down lets precious rainwater through to the root systems of the plants, and it helps prevent evaporation when it is dry.

Save Rainwater

Capturing rainwater in barrels to water gardens, annuals and thirsty perennials is a common practice. A single rain barrel can hold around 55 gallons of water. You can install them in a cascade fashion where one barrel overflows into others set slightly lower than the next to capture hundreds of gallons of water from a single downspout. Rainwater harvesting can be simple or elaborate. Be sure to make any rainwater collection system you use mosquito-proof as they lay their eggs in still water.


Landscaping with plants that are drought tolerant and do not require any supplemental watering even during hot prolonged summers is getting more popular. There are succulents such as Autumn Joy (Sedum spectabile), Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum), and many others that can even tolerate colder climates. Xeriscape is formed from two Greek words—-Xeri (dry) and scape (a scene). You can use decorative stones, large rocks and slow-growing plants that thrive in drought conditions to make a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape even if your area is not under a watering ban.

Artificial Turf

This is really taking off for residential and business properties. The technology to produce synthetic turf grasses has developed to the point where you would have to reach down and touch it in order to prove it is not real. With a properly prepared subsurface, artificial grass can take the traffic of kids playing on the lawn and even cleans up easily where Fido does his business on it. Buying recycled synthetic turf removed from large sports stadiums is even more economical and eco-friendly. The recycled turf looks new, has many years of service life left in it, and is much less expensive than buying new.

Just because the rules say you cannot water your outdoor lawn or plants does not mean you have to have a bland yard or dead grass. If drought is a problem where you live, you can start to alter your landscape while still keeping the curb appeal for your house. Do it a little at a time to make it more budget friendly. You will probably have to hire professionals for a big job, such as replacing your front lawn with artificial grass, but the smaller jobs can be weekend projects that you do at your leisure.