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‘Tis the Season – for Landscaping and Rebates!

waterwise yardWill you make this the year that you switch to California-friendly landscaping? There are plenty of reasons to do that. For one - starting April 1, homeowners can qualify for $2/square ft (twice the current rate) for removing up to 5,000 square feet of thirsty turf. For another, as Metropolitan Water District (MWD) Chairwoman Gloria Gray notes “Gardens filled with succulents, poppies and other California natives are beautiful and attract birds and butterflies.” The turf removal incentive will help offset some or all of the costs to transform a plain yard into your personal oasis.

Changing your yard can be intimidating – selecting plants and their placement, determining their watering needs and designing the irrigation system. And that’s before you even go to the nursery or get your shovel out! A newly upgraded website, specific to Ventura County, will make this a snap. The site features examples of water-wise local yards complete with interactive pictures that identify the plants and their characteristics. Hovering over the plants in the garden photos identifies them, and clicking on their description provides everything you need to know about the plant’s characteristics and suitability for your location. Take a virtual garden tour for inspiration or delve into the Garden Gallery for ideas for hillsides, shrub borders, theme gardens, water features and more.

The website is sponsored by multiple Ventura County water agencies and makes it easy for you to develop a custom landscape plan as well as apply for a turf rebate. It provides detailed information on thousands of searchable plants. Create your own personalized plant “wish list” and build a custom landscape, print the list with key details to reference at the nursery, and group hydrozones together so plants with similar watering needs are close to each other. Visit the Garden Resources section for getting started, design principles, irrigation systems, and numerous other pro tips.

At the City’s Arbor-Earth Day (April 27, 2019 at the Thousand Oaks Library) from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm there will be multiple experts on hand from Las Flores Community Gardens, Master Gardeners, Organic Gardening Club and Blue Sky Biochar who can help with any landscape or plant questions. The City’s water agencies will also be there to help with your questions on rebates and water conservation.

In addition to the turf rebates, there are additional rebates available for outdoors including smart controllers or weather based sensors ($105 each) or rotating nozzles for sprinkler heads ($2). Some changes to the turf replacement program have been made to make it easier and more attractive. These include -

• Increasing the maximum square footage to 5,000 square feet for residential projects and 50,000 square feet for commercial projects.

• Eliminating the requirement that turf must be removed from front yards first.

• Decreasing the number of replacement plants required to three plants per 100 square feet.

The turf rebate application requires a landscape plan, reduced runoff, efficient irrigation and mulch coverage. Synthetic turf is not eligible for the program. For more information go to

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