Those weeds could be sucking you dry! Landscaping Water Conservation Tips

February 18, 2014    Bianca Reyes, Villa Park Landscape    Homeowner Tips

On Friday, January 17 Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for California. What does this mean for homeowners in Southern California where water is already a precious commodity? In the next couple of months we will begin to see price increases as well as new restrictions being placed on our water consumption. As a landscape contractor we continuously strive to have our irrigation systems working as efficiently as possible but our reach only extends insofar as your common areas. Are you doing your part to help lower the water consumption in the landscape for your home?  There are tips and tricks we use to help conserve water in your community’s common areas that can also be applied to your residence.

We all know how unsightly weeds are in the community and your home, and while they detract from the aesthetics of a property, they also steal resources necessary for sustaining healthy plants. Thankfully we have mulch that helps inhibit weed germination and growth in the soil. Mulch also helps the soil hold in moisture and moderates the soil-temperature, which in turn minimizes water consumption. The mulch also keeps plant roots cool and as the mulch begins to break down it supplies nutrients for the soil and plants. For optimal results it is best to add mulch to planter beds before the hot summer months arrive.

Smart Irrigation Controllers are a great way to update old irrigation systems and streamline water consumption. These controllers automatically adjust their watering schedules depending on the current weather conditions.  They estimate or measure depletion of available plant soil moisture and send the information to the irrigation system, which then replenishes water as needed while minimizing the excess water use.  But if you are looking to drastically reduce your water consumption, you may want to consider turf removal for your home.  The Municipal Water District of Orange County offers rebates for homeowners who remove their turf and replant those areas with California native plants. They are offering $1 or more per square foot of turf removed (with 250’ minimum). You can find more information on their website at  http://www.mwdoc.com/services/turf-removal.

Another way to cut down on water consumption at home is to check your irrigation sprinklers for leaks and overspray. Make sure you are watering your plants before 8 am to eliminate evaporation and the wind is usually the calmest in the early mornings. Another easy tip is instead of hosing down your driveway and sidewalks, use a broom instead of a hose.  The Irvine Ranch Water District even offers rebates on updating your clothes washer and toilets to high efficiency appliances. The IRWD also offers free Home Water Use Assessments for homeowners. We do not how long this drought may last and there are so many options to save water, so contact your local water district for some extra tips and help do your part to conserve water during this drought!

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