With so many trees and lawns in Southern California, it is easy to forget we live in a desert. We import millions of gallons of water from the Colorado River, Owens Valley, and north, and pump millions more from aquifers.Here are five steps to maintain a lush efficient garden that requires less water and pruning:
Water is becoming shorter in supply and greater in cost. Climate change has caused severe droughts. Therefore, conserving water is critical. Water-wise gardening uses landscaping techniques to help conserve water while maintaining a beautiful yard. Here's a Fact Sheet.
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, thereby reducing overall water usage.
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 actually need.
4. Improve Your Soil: mix compost into your soil to improve its 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.