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Water Wise Gardening and Landscaping

Landscaping water requirements represent over 50% of residential water needs. Homes and businesses have the opportunity to save more of our limited local water supply by planting drought-tolerant plants and installing and maintaining efficient irrigation systems. 

Creating Your Own Water-Wise Landscape

Here are some basic water-wise landscaping suggestions that will help you arrive at beautiful landscape solutions that work in the Southern California's climate.

  1. Limit non-functional turf.
  2. Ask your local nursery for suggestions on native plant species that will most effectively meet your landscape needs.
  3. Install proper irrigation systems throughout your yard. Conventional sprinklers are best for turf, while low-volume irrigation, such as drip, is best for trees, shrubs, and perennials.
  4. Group plants with similar water needs and use more low water-use plants especially in sunny, dry, and windy areas. Plants that need more water should be used sparingly and planted close to the house in either shady areas or placed in containers.
  5. Improve the texture of the soil, if needed, by adding amendments. Amendments can either increase water retention or improve drainage, depending on the soil composition.
  6. Use a thick layer of mulch around your plants to help the soil retain moisture. Mulch also inhibits weeds.
  7. Plant trees to lower air and soil temperatures. This reduces plant and soil moisture loss.
  8. Use low spreading shrubs and trees to cover large slopes rather than shallow-rooted ground covers. Minimize water runoff with drip irrigation.
  9. Are you adjusting your irrigation controller at least twice a year? An easy way to remember to adjust your irrigation controller sprinkler is to turn it back in the fall when you change your clock for daylight savings time and spring it forward in the spring. Also, take the time to see if all of your sprinkler heads are working properly. Look for broken, bent or sunken sprinkler heads and clogged nozzles.

Additional Resources

Water Wise Gardening in Ventura County – This web resource offers you a personalized database that you develop for your specific landscape needs. You can populate your database using the vast selection of plants and garden plans that will help you design a beautiful and drought-tolerant landscape that is specifically designed for Ventura County. All the homes and plans depicted are from Ventura County. Plant lists include details on needs for sun and water and attributes such as butterfly or bird attractions.

May contain: flower, petal, plant, vegetation, daisy, geranium, herbal, herbs, anemone, garden, nature, outdoors, field, grassland, grass, and dahlia
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