Unique concerns with some groups of plants:

 

LAWNS

I like lawns.   Besides the enjoyment of using a living lawn to walk, play, and relax on,... and look at it for it's beauty if so arranged to be beautiful, lawns help cool the immediate atmosphere around the home, control dust, buffer pollutants, and increase water absorption/infiltration into the ground.  

If you want a lawn, but don't want to water it much, and don't mind if it's light green to somewhat straw-colored or mostly straw-colored, especially during summer to fall (due to minimal water, and, in winter if fully frosted), grow Bermuda Grass if the space you want it in gets at least a half day(and however much more) sun year-round.  It will grow fairly slowly given minimal water but can make a decent percentage of cover if not entire.  But, be sure you want it, because when it gets established it's difficult to get rid of.  

Also, consider Phyla nodiflora (including the cultivar 'Kurapia'), as another great lawn option,.. really, check it out, it's low water too, on par with Bermuda Grass, plus it has lots of pretty little Verbena flowers spring to autumn.   I also have Phyla shown in my San Diego Natives Blog, near the bottom of the page.  It's potentially native to the western USA region, although most certainly native to parts of southern South America.

 

PALMS

When palms voluntarily sprout from seed in the 'wild' outdoors, whether in your yard or elsewhere, - with adequate soil texture and moisture -, the way they develop in the very early period after germination is that the base of the leaf sheaths are typically about 2" below the soil surface, sometimes more, sometimes a little less, with the roots originating from the underside base, extending downward into the soil.   That depth makes for their best stability and growth.   However, when planting palms from containers, have the soil be about 1 inch higher than the root-trunk-base juncture, - in other words, have the root-trunk-base juncture be about 1" below the soil surface.  If the soil level in the container/pot is already at that level, or the juncture is even deeper, and the palm is doing well, then plant with the container/pot soil level being level with the surrounding site soil level, if the root mass is firm and unlikely for the rootball/rootmass to compress further, and as well that the bottom of the hole in which it's planted in the ground is also firm and won't settle further any significant amount.   Main thing is make sure the under-base roots are covered with dirt,... even if you plant higher than I've mentioned about here.   It's ok to plant palms on mounds if you like also, just make sure they're firmely planted.

Of course planting too deep can also occur, so don't plant deeper than the recommendations above.  The general standard recommendation is to make sure the trunk-base of the palm is securely placed in the soil so that it feels adequately secure and won't be blown over by wind, and, that all the roots initiating from beneath the palm trunk base will remain covered with soil.  If palm roots originating from the underside of the palm base are exposed such that you can essentially see beneath the base of the trunk, or even partly, it makes for the palm to potentially have less stability and vigor, and being more prone to blowing over in high winds, which has especially occurred with Queen Palms that were planted higher than appropriate.  

Palms like well enough drained soil, - the soil being adequately permeable, of which most average dirt is adequate, with suitable environmental and care conditions.

Also, unlike with many container-grown bushes, vines, and especially trees, it's not necessary or recommended to cut and spread out palm roots when planting from containers, - except if for your own convenience if they're hindering your removal and planting efforts.   Even if the palm roots are circling it's fine to leave them that way, because they will all be superseded by new roots growing from the trunk root base core(root initiation zone).  Palm roots don't have the expanding diameter and potentially constrictive persistence that roots of other types of trees have or can have, such as with girdling of the trunk or roots.   The thickness of palm roots doesn't get much more than about human finger diameter, if even that much, depending on the type of palm, and they basically remain the same diameter as when they emerged from the root initiation zone for their entire life.

You can cross reference with the following University of Florida article on transplanting palms, which also has illustrative pictures of problem concerns:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep001

 

Irrigation of Southern California Warm Season Drought Adapted Native Plants and other plants similarly adapted from other areas of the world:

Basic idea, which goes for anything you plant of the above genre:  Water them adequately for the conditions, not excessively (mainly referring to frequency of watering in common consideration, though sometimes at a given watering in some cases), and with appropriate distribution in / on the soil area and soil depth in relation to the trunk position and root distribution.   Get those roots growing out from the rootball, as practical, which is dependent on the moisture out and away from the rootball, gradually quickly enough within a year preferably, and such that water does not collect at the trunk.   The trunk-top-root juncture should be a bit elevated above the surrounding soil level.

 

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Green Thumb San Diego Comprehensive Landscape Design Plants