With the abundance of trees, shrubs and grass in Southern California, it's easy to forget we live in a desert. We import millions of gallons of water from northern California, the Owens Valley and the Colorado River, and pump millions more from groundwater wells that draw water out of our regional aquifers.
Increasingly, water is in short supply and is becoming more expensive. Additionally, California faces repeating cycles of drought (La Niña). In fact, historically, our state has faced prolonged droughts that have lasted over 50 years. Therefore, it is critical to conserve as much water as possible. Water-wise gardening involves using various landscaping techniques that help conserve water while maintaining a beautiful and efficient yard.
Here is a Fact Sheet.
Water-wise gardening conserves water and reduces waste
Here are the five steps to maintain a lush efficient garden that requires less water and pruning.
1. Hydrozone: group plants according to their water needs. Hydrozone your yard and garden so that low water-use, moderate water-use and high water-use plants are grouped together. Also, use elevated planting beds so that plants are watered more efficiently, reducing overall water use.
2. Selecting Plants: use drought tolerant or native plants to create a low water-use, low maintenance landscape.
3. Irrigation: install sprinklers, drip emitters and timers so you only give plants the amount of water they really need.
4. Improve Your Soil: mix compost into your soil to improve it's moisture retaining capability and fertility.
5. Use Mulch: place mulch around your plants, along walkways and on top of other bare areas to reduce water use and prevent weeds.