When a turf rebate aimed at reducing water consumption prompted some companies to get into the business of removing turf and replacing it with gravel, the results were not always what the homeowners envisioned.
That was the case with three properties that Gothic Landscape rehabbed. The Valencia, California-based company added grass back to the yards and installed plants that were mostly drought-toleratant and attracted wildlife.
“We are finding that a lot of folks who got badly designed turf conversions want their grass back,” says Michael Gillett, regional manager. “But those who received a well-designed landscape don’t miss their turf at all. There were a lot of suspect contractors doing bad work and taking advantage of the rebates during the drought. It’s too bad for our industry.”
Gillett says each job cost approximately $9,000 each for roughly 10,000-square foot backyards. The projects lasted two days with irrigation installed on one day and planting done on the second day.
Gothic tends to stay away from residential work because it’s not a client they are built for, and Gillett does not expect many more jobs like this.
“But I see a great opportunity for good contractors to fix bad landscapes and add back usable turf areas,” he says. “Turf is not a bad word. You can still be environmentally conscious and have turf. Usable turf, smart nozzles, drought-tolerant plants and smart controllers make a pretty good landscape.”
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