Successful Gardening In The Drought
Reducing your water use by 35% is tough! Here are a few water saving practices to help you get there.
Water-Saving Lawn Tips:
- Select water efficient varieties suited for Southern California.
- Replace nonessential turf with ground covers, and mulches.
- Adjust irrigation schedule monthly – to reflect seasonal changes
- Lawns are the main water guzzlers, how much lawn do you really need?
- Water at night, ideally between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., this reduces evaporation and wind will not be strong enough to interfere with sprinkler patterns
- Mow lawns higher during very warm weather
- Helps reduce growth rate
- Protects lawn from sunburn
- Promotes deeper root growth
- Shades soil, reduces weeds
Water-Saving Plant Tips:
- Remove plants in crowded beds or low-priority plants competing for soil moisture
- Mulch, mulch, mulch with a 3-4″ layer of tree trimmings
- Reduces water evaporation and weeds
- Protects roots from heat
- Reduces weeds who compete for water
- Avoid heavy pruning
- Do not overuse fertilizers, which increase growth and water demands
- Infrequent deep watering encourages deeper root growth, and results in plants with greater drought tolerance
- Use a drip irrigation system, grouping plants with similar water needs together on one drip irrigation line
Water-Saving Edible Garden Tips:
- Plant an appropriate size garden for your household
- Plant shorter season crops and drought resistant varieties
- Know critical watering periods, for example transplanting and fruit development
- Apply a 3” to 4” layer of mulch
- Remove weeds, which compete for water resources
- Install a water efficient drip irrigation system
Linda McKendry is owner of Linda McKendry Garden Design & Rose Care, a landscape design, horticulture & rose care company that specializes in creating beautiful gardens for its clients, educates its friends and business partners about the joys of gardening, and teaches classes on how to care for roses. When asked “What makes a garden?” She responds, “My personal idea of a garden is a space which includes a place to sit and smell the roses, a place where you can be refreshed by the sound and sight of water and an environment where you can experience the change of the seasons.” She can be reached at 818.974.0405, http://lindamckendry.com