The Complete Guide For San Diego Yard Maintenance

Life in San Diego is perfect for its residents. Perfect weather year round coupled with easy beach access and a coveted natural landscape makes living in San Diego a dream come true. One of the first things a tourist notices when driving through the best neighborhoods in San Diego is the unique landscaping that surrounds the homes. There are no huge patches of green grass, but rather a more natural-looking landscape to match the preciously preserved landscape that flows throughout Southern California. Residents of San Diego and the rest of Southern California know that conserving water is a big concern. Therefore they tend to choose to xeriscape for their landscaping. 

Not only is xeriscaping the best ecological choice, but it is also an easy way to achieve low-maintenance front yard landscaping. After all, homeowners want a front, back, and side yard that is easy to maintain and boosts curb appeal year-round. Xeriscaping does not require a lot of water either, therefore homeowners in San Diego do not have to worry about an exorbitant water bill or not doing their part to conserve a resource. San Diego is located in USDA Hardiness zones 8,9, and 10.  The types of plants used in xeriscaping are heat and drought-resistant to ensure the plants thrive year-round without having to heavily rely on water. Xeriscaping is also a low-maintenance landscaping option that allows homeowners to quickly and efficiently improve curb appeal without creating a huge amount of lawn maintenance. Landscaping is one of the top 5 ways to create a lasting impression on guests and prospective buyers. Without it, the home would have no visual value. This popular low-maintenance form of landscaping is sure to create the perfect oasis for any homeowner living in San Diego. 

It’s important to note that low maintenance does not mean no maintenance. Even though there is a small amount of maintenance to perform on a xeriscaped yard, it is essential to perform that maintenance to ensure the landscaping is flourishing at its full potential. If not properly maintained, the yard could bring down the curb appeal of the home. Therefore we have created a San Diego landscaping guide to give homeowners a complete overview of the minute amount of maintenance needed to keep up with xeriscaping.


Lawn Maintenance In San Diego


Many homes in San Diego do not have a sprawling lawn full of green grass, but they do tend to have at least a small patch of grass in the backyard area. This is usually for children on animals to play or relax on, but it still needs to be maintained. We recommend leaving the grass a little longer when mowing, as the blades of grass are what store water. By leaving the grass a little longer, it will grow to be more healthy and have a better appearance. When the grass is mowed short, it will take more water and effort to keep the grass flourishing. When the grass is flourishing and healthy it will definitely boost curb appeal for the home.


Xeriscaping is aimed at creating a landscaped yard that requires little to no irrigation. Therefore watering is not required in exorbitant amounts or often. It is important to remember to water the landscaping every now and again if there has been no rain, as the plants do need water occasionally in xeriscaping.  Some of the most visually pleasing plants that are also drought and heat resistant are:

  • Desert Willow
  • Chaste Tree
  • Artichoke Agave
  • Goodings Verbena
  • Texas Sundrops
  • Arroyo Lupine
  • Desert Bluebells
  • Phoenix Mesquite
  • Bush Anemone
  • Many More!

Remember to not overwater your xeriscape! All plants used in xeriscape survive on little amounts of water, and if they are overwatered they will not survive.


Xeriscaping is based on needing little to no water, but unfortunately unappealing weeds also survive on little amounts of water. With the rocks and substrate used in xeriscaping, there shouldn’t be an exorbitant amount of weeds to pull frequently, but there will be some. Weeding, especially in the front yard is the best way to boost curb appeal in a small span of time. Weeding will also help remove nuisance plants that are taking nutrients away from the beautifully landscaped plants and trees. Homeowners shouldn’t have to weed often, but we recommend weeding every two weeks or so to minimize the chance of weeds being able to spread their seeds across the landscaping. In time, weeding every two weeks will almost eliminate almost all weeds.


Pruning is a form of maintenance that is considered an annual form of maintenance. Typically, we recommend pruning in the winter months or at the very beginning of spring.  It does not take much time and is a quick and easy form of lawn maintenance that San Diego residents do to quickly improve curb appeal. The easiest way to improve the aesthetic of the home is to remove any plants, bushes, or tree limbs that have died. There are two main rules for pruning:

  1. Only dead patches should be trimmed to allow new growth to flourish in the spring.
  2. Trim only what is absolutely necessary. Trimming more than necessary could cause damage.


The best part of having xeriscaped yard is that the plants used are acclimated to living in environments with little water and little nutrients. Therefore fertilizing is not a form of maintenance that needs to be performed on a regularly scheduled basis. Usually, we recommend homeowners fertilize their yards with a slow-release fertilizer in late spring. This will help slowly spread nutrients to the plants throughout the spring, summer, and fall months to ensure everything is flourishing to its full potential. This is the perfect form of low-maintenance landscaping, as one simple fertilizer treatment can create the most beautiful blooming plants for the rest of the year. Fertilizing xeriscaped plants is not a necessity, as they are adept at surviving without nutrients or water, but fertilizing will enhance the beauty of the plants.

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Low maintenance front yard landscaping is every homeowner’s dream in San Diego, California. After all, the front yard is the first impression visitors receive of the home, and what homeowners want to enjoy coming home to. A visually unpleasing front yard could be the sole reason why prospective buyers choose to pass on buying the home. Here are a few low-maintenance ways to improve curb appeal for a San Diego home.

Add Lighting

A home and its landscaping may be beautiful during the day, but when the sun goes down how are visitors and homeowners alike supposed to enjoy their hard work and the beauty at their front door? Installing an eco friendly solar lighting system in the front yard will not only allow residents and visitors to navigate to and from the front door when it’s dark out, but it will also allow residents and visitors to enjoy their xeriscaping long after the sun has gone down. Homeowners can bring their yards to life and improve their low maintenance front yard landscaping by adding walkway lighting, tree lighting, garden lighting, and illuminating the unique architectural features of the home.

Create A Unique Walkway

Concrete sidewalks and walkways are cheap and easy to install, but they are very generic. Homeowners in San Diego love to create a unique aspect by adding walkways with a unique paver design. There are hundreds of styles, colors, and patterns to choose from that will boost curb appeal by creating a look unique to the home.

Create Boulder Outcropping

In terms of curb appeal, plants are just the beginning. Boulder outcroppings, a common feature of xeriscaping, can enhance the appearance of the home while reducing your water usage and maintenance requirements. The dry climate here in San Diego is perfect for incorporating different colors and textures with stones ranging in size from pebbles to boulders. Save on the water bill, and create a unique and alluring front yard landscape.

Side Yard Landscaping Ideas

The side yard is mostly forgotten about when it comes to landscaping design. Many homeowners have a side yard space that can be transformed into a beautiful area, but they don’t want to create a lot of maintenance. Here are some of the best low maintenance side yard landscaping ideas.

Add Planters

Adding various planters with designs that match the home’s aesthetics is an easy way to improve the appearance of the side yard, and has little to no maintenance. We recommend filling these planters with local plants and bushes so that they do not need excessive amounts of water and care to thrive. This is the easiest way to brighten up a side yard area without creating a huge project.

Add Grass Or Turf

The side yard area tends to be the smallest outdoor living space. Side yards also tend to receive more shade than the front or back yard area, which makes it perfect for grass or turf. The small area will allow for a perfect place for children or pets to play, and won’t require as much watering as if there were grass in the front or back yard areas. Adding grass to the side yard area is sure to create an environment for families to enjoy while not creating hefty water bills or a lot of maintenance.

Add A Walkway

If homeowners don’t want to add grass or turf to their side yard areas, creating a custom walkway is another way to improve the visual aesthetic of the home. Concrete is always a cheap and easy option, but there are various paver designs and colors at an affordable price as well. Pavers tend to need less maintenance and can last for longer periods of time. Homeowners can also opt for pavers that help conserve water!

Backyard Landscaping Ideas

The backyard is singlehandedly the area where families and visitors spend most of their time. Therefore having a visually pleasing and practically landscaped backyard is a necessity, especially when trying to sell the home. Here are a few low-maintenance ideas to improve the appearance of a backyard area.

Add A Pool

If there isn’t a pool in the backyard already, we highly recommend installing an inground pool. This is the best way to boost the value of the home and create a visually appealing backyard. Above-ground pools can work too, but they tend to not be as visually appealing and require a lot more maintenance. Adding a pool will create an area for the children and their friends and family to play without having to pay to go to a public pool.

Add An Herb Garden

Adding an herb garden to the backyard will not only provide delicious herbs to add to meals, but it will also deter bugs and provide an appealing addition to the backyard. Since most homeowners in San Diego have xeriscaped yards, they can use some of the water they save to water their herb garden in the back yard. Herbal plants such as chamomile, lavender, dill, cilantro, and other herbs provide an amazing aromatic experience that visitors won’t forget after they spend time in the backyard. This cheap and efficient method is sure to boost the value of the home.

Add A Gazebo Or Pergola

The addition of a shaded seating area, big enough for the entire family to gather under, will surely enhance the appearance of the home. Enjoy time with family while beating the heat. Gathering space in the backyard for all to enjoy will extend the home feel to the backyard. After all, San Diego receives on average 266 sunny days out of the whole year, so having a shaded area to relax is a must for most homeowners.

The yard is one of the most important factors in a home purchase. The landscaping, the size, and the location all play a role in how much you will enjoy your new home. If you are looking to sell your home, it is important to make sure that it stands out and has curb appeal. If you are looking to buy a home in San Diego, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you find the perfect home for your needs and budget!