How it was Built

Over 175 Tips for Saving Water!!

Lawns and Landscaping

  1. A heavy rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as two weeks.
  2. Avoid over fertilizing your lawn. The application of fertilizers increases the need for water. Apply fertilizers which contain slow-release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen.
  3. Don't over water your lawn. As a general rule, lawns only need watering every 5 to 7 days in the summer and every 10 to 14 days in the winter.
  4. Don't water your street, driveway or sidewalk. Position your sprinklers so that your water lands on the lawn and shrubs ... not the paved areas.
  5. Watch your neighbor's sprinklers. Let them know if theirs are out of position and watering the sidewalk.
  6. Install sprinklers that are the most water-efficient for each use. Micro and drip irrigation and soaker hoses are examples of water-efficient methods of irrigation.
  7. Mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulching also helps to control weeds that compete with pants for water.
  8. Plant it smart, Xeriscape. Xeriscape landscaping is a great way to design, install and maintain both your plantings and irrigation system that will save you time, money and water. For your free copy of "Plant it Smart," an easy-to-use guide to Xeriscape landscaping, contact your Water Management District.
  9. Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Once established, they do not need to be watered as frequently and they usually will survive a dry period without any watering.
  10. Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches. A lawn cut higher encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds soil moisture better than a closely-clipped lawn.
  11. Regularly check sprinkler systems and timing devices to be sure they are operating properly. It is now the law in some locations that "anyone who purchases and installs an automatic lawn sprinkler system MUST install a rain sensor device or switch which will override the irrigation cycle of the sprinkler system when adequate rainfall has occurred." To retrofit your existing system, contact an irrigation professional for more information.
  12. Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces losses from evaporation.
  13. Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid overwatering some while underwatering others.
  14. Use a layer of organic material on the surface of your planting beds to minimize weed growth that competes for water.
  15. Use a minimum amount of organic or slow release fertilizer to promote a healthy and drought tolerant landscape.
  16. Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation, than those spraying water into the air.
  17. Learn how to shut off your automatic watering system in case it malfunctions or you get an unexpected rain.
  18. Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn or garden to remind you when to stop. A running hose can discharge up to 10 gallons a minute.
  19. By selecting plants suited to your yard's conditions, you'll use less water and other resources.
  20. Use a trowel, shovel, or soil probe to examine soil moisture depth. If the top two to three inches of soil are dry it's time to water.
  21. If installing a lawn, select a turf mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.
  22. Make sure your swimming pools, fountains, and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.
  23. Consult with your local nursery for information on plant selection and placement for optimum outdoor water savings.
  24. Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation.
  25. Let your lawn to go dormant during the summer. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three weeks or less if it rains.
  26. Plant with finished compost to add water-holding and nutrient-rich organic matter to the soil.
  27. Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller water drops and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
  28. Water only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.
  29. Adjust your watering schedule each month to match seasonal weather conditions and landscape requirements.
  30. Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.
  31. Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
  32. Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather run off the surface.
  33. Catch water in an empty tuna can to measure sprinkler output. One inch of water on one square foot of grass equals two-thirds of a gallon of water.
  34. When you give your pet fresh water, don't throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
  35. Plant it smart. Drought efficient landscaping is a great way to design, install and maintain both your plants and irrigation system. More importantly, it will save time, money and water.
  36. Avoid the installation of ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless the water is recycled.
  37. Don't overuse hoses or sprinklers in hot weather. A sprinkler can use as much water in an hour as a family of four will use in a day.
  38. Research your plants, some actually thrive in drier conditions and will not benefit from over watering.
  39. Check the root zone of your lawn or garden for moisture before watering using a spade or trowel. If it's still moist 2 inches under the soil surface, you still have enough water.

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