Seven Steps to a New Landscape

Start a New Landscape Project

Whether you are converting your existing lawn, starting with bare soil, or somewhere in between, a new water-wise landscape will:

  • Save water and save money
  • Drought-proof your property
  • Make your yard beautiful and improve curb appeal

Not sure where to start? We're here to help - follow the steps below!

Successful New Landscape Projects

Step 1: Plan a Landscape Project

Like any home project, planning is one of the most important aspects of re-landscaping your yard. For the best results, we recommend hiring a landscape designer to develop a design. Visit Plan a Landscape Project for more information.

Step 2: Remove the Lawn

Depending on what your plan is for a new landscape and how much you plan to regrade the yard, we recommend sheet mulching or physical removal. Visit Remove the Lawn to find out which one is right for your situation.

Step 3: Install Hardscape

This is an optional step that can potentially improve a front yard's functionality and curb appeal. For example, adding a pathway from the sidewalk to the front door can add a functional benefit and create a visually appealing garden element. Another way to create visual interest and a contrast to the plants is dry creek beds and boulders, or steps and walls on sloped properties. Visit the Gardening in Contra Costa County Garden Gallery for hardscape ideas and inspiration.

Step 4: Build a Healthy Soil

Starting a new landscape is the perfect opportunity to improve the soil before planting new plants. Healthy soil is essential to a healthy garden because it helps your plants and landscaping thrive. A healthy soil is alive and is made up of minerals, living and dead plant material, fungus, bacteria, mycorrhizae, insects, and billions of micro-organisms. Visit Build a Healthy Soil for details.

Step 5: Install an Irrigation System

A functional watering system is important for the longevity of your new garden. The goal is to install a system that effectively applies water to the rootzones of the plants. Drip irrigation is generally the best and most efficient system for water-wise landscapes, and it is easy to install. Visit Irrigation Systems for information and tips on installing and maintaining a quality irrigation system.

Step 6: Purchase & Install Plants

For best results, it's important to choose the right plants for your yard, purchase quality plants, and install them properly. Find resources, pro tips, and where to buy on Water Wise Plants.

Step 7: Water Efficiently

Reduce water waste by watering your landscape efficiently. Check out Water Efficiently for recommendations.