How to...

These “How to…” tips are organized around the major steps
involved in replacing a grass lawn with a beautiful landscape
that thrives in our semi-arid region.


It’s very important to get a rough yet realistic estimate of the cost of your project before you start spending money. Get help here  with creating your initial budget.

Reduce Your Costs

Find out how to reduce the cost of your project by reviewing the Money Savings Tips  section. You’ll find some great ideas to keep some of that cash in your own pocket.

Find Nurseries and Other Resources

Discover local nurseries  and other helpful resources .  Find out where to buy your new water-efficient plants, and which plants might work best in your situation.

Design Your Landscape

Visit our Free Designs with Plant Lists  page to learn how to design your new landscape. Also check out the free online instruction to learn how to design your own landscape that you can use in your own yard.

Kill Your Lawn

Killing and removing your old lawn is one of the most important steps you will take in this adventure. 

Prepare Your Site 

Tree of Life Nursery offers a comprehensive guide to get you started on site preparation, planting, establishing and then caring for your new landscape.

Prepare the Soil

Healthy soil will help your plants get established and thrive. Soil texture and organic content should all be taken into consideration in preparation of your new landscape. Visit the Soil Preparation or A Homeowner’s Guide to a WaterSmart Landscape (Step 3) links for more information.

Create an Efficient Irrigation System

About half of the water used at the average home goes towards landscape irrigation, and that about half of that landscape water is wasted. Most sprinkler systems are inefficient and tend to waste a lot of water. Learn how choose the right irrigation system for your new landscape.

Include Hardscape in Your New Garden

Plan for hardscape such as patios and walkways.  These add interest, functionality and uniqueness to your new garden.

Install the New Plants

If you need help installing your new plants take a look at these suggestions.

Maintain Your New Garden

You will need to be diligent about the care and maintenance during the first year of your new garden. Find out how to properly maintain your new WaterSmart landscape and keep it looking gorgeous.