CA Friendly Tips

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Add mulch over exposed soil

A layer of mulch can cut down water evaporation by as much as 75 percent. Studies suggest it can reduce overall water use by 25 percent or more. Mulch is a loose material placed over the soil to conserve water, control weeds, and keep soil temperatures more constant. It is usually a coarse organic product, [...]

Switch your outdated irrigation controller to a “Smart” controller

Most irrigation controllers are clock-based timers, irrigating based on dates and times, indifferent to weather or plant needs. Imagine operating your air conditioning and heating based on dates and times only - with no thermostat. Not very effective. Smart irrigation timers monitor air temperature, rainfall, humidity and wind. They also consider the types of plants [...]

Hydrozone your plants

Group plants according to their water needs, then organize your irrigation zones and irrigation schedule to match these plant groupings. This is called "hydrozoning" and is one of the most important principles of good landscape water conservation. Adding water conserving plants to your garden is terrific, but if mixed with thirstier plants in the same [...]

Install rain barrels or other water storage tanks

Roof water downspouts are perfectly designed to collect rain water before it hits the ground and deposit it directly into a storm drain. They are also perfect for filling rain barrels and water storage tanks. Consider if a half inch of rain fell on a 1,000-square-foot roof, it would yield 300 gallons of free water. Most [...]

Re-direct your rain gutter downspouts

Rather than direct your gutter downspouts to the sidewalk, driveway or storm drain, direct then into your landscape. Not only will the water be appreciated by your plants, but a portion of the water may help replenish our natural underground aquifer. Roof water that goes to the ocean through a storm drain is wasted and [...]

Turn off your manual irrigation timer during the winter months

Now through April our local weather patterns are too erratic for clock-based irrigation controllers. There may be weeks at a time when absolutely no irrigation is needed. Turn your controller to “off” during these cool months. If the garden needs watering you can turn the system to “manual” for a complete irrigation. Even better, install [...]