Water conservation doesn’t have to be complicated. With a few tips and things to look out for, you can use water wisely and avoid paying for water you are not actually using. In fact, with a little up front work, you can create a yard that better retains water, uses less of it and makes for happier plants!
Inspect Your Irrigation
The average household uses more water outdoors than inside the home. Leaks and inefficiencies in irrigation systems can mean over-watering and paying for unused water.
EPA Watersense Video
Use Native Plants
Simple things like selecting native plants is a great place to start because they typically do not require much more water than what our climate allows for naturally. And they thrive in the wet winters and dry summers typical of our Mediterranean climate.
In addition to using less water, native plants are generally better adapted to handle the pests in our area, they make great food sources for native birds, bees and butterflies, and they tend to require less maintenance. Zone 7 customers are eligible for our Water-Efficient Lawn Conversion Rebate [LINK TO REBATE PAGE]. We encourage all of our customer to view the following links for native, water-wise landscaping inspiration and tips:
- Native Design Basics
- California Native Plant Society (East Bay)
- Resources for Native Plants
- Integrated Pest Management
- Native Plants and Seeds in the Bay Area
- Native Here Nursery (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties)
- PlantRight Invasive Species List
General Landscaping Tips
Water early and deeply. The best time to water is early in the day just as the sun rises. This limits evaporation and gets more water to your plant roots. Watering longer and less frequently also saves water by helping plants build stronger, deeper root systems.
Group plants together based on how much water they use. Plant thirsty plants with others that love water, and drought tolerant varieties near other water conscience plants.
Consider alternatives to turf. Green grass is nice, but water-wise is better and in most cases, less work!
Use permeable hardscaping to capture water. Areas of gravel and porous stones look great and help divert water to plants close by, and they also reduce irrigation area.
Mulch it up! Mulch limits evaporation, keeping moisture within the soil to keep water available for plants. It also adds nutrients and provides a home for beneficial insects.
Maintain today for prosperous plants tomorrow. Plants that are well maintained are heartier during dry seasons and more tolerant of pesky pests.
Need a little more help? Enlist a QWEL Pro!
Qualified Water Efficient Landscapers (QWEL) have been trained in efficient irrigation principles and sustainable landscaping practices, and can help to:
- Use water efficiently in your landscape
- Reduce runoff and overspray
- Select and install efficient irrigation equipment
- Develop your irrigation schedule and program your irrigation controller
Visit Zone 7’s Water Wise Gardening in the TriValley website for more tips!