by Dan Carney
You’ve already taken the first steps to make your garden “water smart” and now you are ready to do more. Read on:
- Install an efficient irrigation system, like a drip irrigation system with a smart irrigation controller that self-adjusts based on real-time weather and site conditions. Don’t forget that MMWD is offering a limited-time “Do Your Part: Water Smart” rebate for up to $400 towards the purchase of a smart irrigation controller.
- Use compost to create soil that holds more moisture. Once or twice a year, spread 2-4 inches of compost over the soil and dig it into the top 6-12 inches of the garden bed.
- Apply mulch to garden beds to slow evaporation of moisture from the soil. The benefits are two-fold: you won’t have to water or weed as often. Mulch also makes your yard look great by creating defined beds. MMWD offers a rebate for up to $350 on Bay-Friendly Landscaping supplies, including mulch. Or, make your own by using chipped branches, leaves, or compost from your yard.
- Group plants in your garden by water, soil, and sun exposure needs (hydrozoning) so that you can more easily water plants according to need.
- Plant at least half of your garden with California natives or plants adapted to a Mediterranean climate.
- Minimize the area of your lawn so that it functions as an “accent” or for play areas—or replace your lawn altogether with less thirsty landscaping.
- Harvest the rain. Installing a rainwater catchment system helps reduces demand on the water supply.
How do you conserve water in your garden? Leave a comment and share your own tips below.