Water Efficiency Measures for Landscaping

(During drought conditions outdoor watering restrictions may be imposed, and therefore some of the following tips will not apply.)

Watering:

  • Detect and repair all leaks in irrigation systems.
  • Use properly treated wastewater for irrigation where available.
  • Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). Do not water on windy days.
  • Water trees and shrubs, which have deep root systems, longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants which require smaller amounts of water more often. Check with the local extension service for advice on the amount and frequency of watering needed in your area.
  • Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only - not the street or sidewalk.
  • Use soaker hoses and trickle irrigation systems.
  • Install moisture sensors on sprinkler systems.

Planting:

  • Have your soil tested for nutrient content and add organic matter if needed. Good soil absorbs and retains water better.
  • Minimize turf areas and use native grasses.
  • Use native plants in your landscape - they require less care and water than ornamental varieties.

Maintaining:

  • Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth.
  • Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage movement of water to the root zone.
  • Raise your lawn mower cutting height - longer grass blades help shade each other, cut down on evaporation, and inhibit weed growth.
  • Minimize or eliminate fertilizing which requires additional watering, and promotes new growth which will also need additional watering.

Ornamental Water Features:

  • Do not install or use ornamental water features unless they recycle the water. Use signs to indicate that water is recycled. Do not operate during a drought.
Source: U.S. Dept of Energy
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