Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How much does it cost to convert a lawn to a California Friendly landscape?
Your new garden can range from very inexpensive up to $20 per sq. ft., depending on how much of the work you do yourself and whether you buy inexpensive or expensive materials. The choice is yours.
My lawn has been dead for several months. Do I still qualify for the program?
If your lawn is dead but still in place, we will consider your project for the Incentive program. If you have initiated or completed the lawn to garden transformation, you are not eligible.
What plants can be used for this program?
Plants can be chosen from over 1,500 plants listed on the two following websites, all suitable to our semi-arid region:
Any plant not listed on these two websites requires pre-approval by the LBWD.
If I replace plants other than turf, will these qualify for the incentive?
No, the specific purpose of this incentive is to assist Long Beach residents to get rid of that water-thirsty lawn.
Can I use traditional turf grass as part of my new landscape?
Your new landscape cannot contain any turf grass, artificial or synthetic* turf, or turf-looking grass, such as Buffalo grass.
*Synthetic turf is allowed on qualified sports fields only.
How much plant material needs to be planted?
Plant material must cover at least 65% of the new landscaped area by the time the plants are mature, or after approximately two years.
Is mulch required between plants?
Yes, mulch helps prevent runoff and holds moisture in the soil. Your new landscape must be 100% covered with materials such as plants, compost and mulch, and permeable “hardscape”.
Do I have to replace my irrigation system?
Your irrigation system must be an efficient system, as described on the Design Page. This essentially means you must use drip, bubblers, rotating stream nozzles, or hand water.
Additional rebates may be available at www.socalwatersmart.com for rotators and irrigation controllers.
I live in a homeowners association (HOA) and do not have an individual LBWD account. Can I still qualify for the program?
If it is a common area that will be re-landscaped the HOA will need to apply. If it is your personal area of the complex then you may be eligible to apply.
How do I effectively kill my lawn?
Take a look at our “How to” page on this subject.
When will I receive the incentive check?
If approved, payments will typically be made within 60 calendar days after LBWD has been notified that the landscape installation was complete.
Can you recommend a landscape contractor?
We cannot recommend particular contractors, and instead suggest that you read through the online quiz. You will find a great deal of helpful information there. Your best bet is to look around your neighborhood and find a drought tolerant garden that you like. Ask the owner of that property which landscaping contractor they used and about their experience. Alternatively, if you use one of our design consultants, they can give you suggestions about contractors they have worked with.