Conservation Corner

Tips, resources and news about water-use efficiency

Design a Landscape to Live In

As summer winds down and the days get shorter, it’s a great time to start planning for a landscape makeover. The Water Authority offers free landscape makeover classes to help you get started. Resources include a site visit from a landscape specialist, a professionally-drawn site plan, and one-on-one coaching. Cooler fall weather is an ideal […]

Sometimes improving your water efficiency is as simple as changing a few old habits. Photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pixabay

Indoor Water Efficiency at No Cost

There are many ways to use water more efficiently indoors, and a lot of these are completely free! You don’t have to go through the expense of replacing appliances or installing new ones to improve indoor water efficiency. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing a few old water usage habits. Here are some easy ways […]

The Nieves family of Bonita are the winners of the Sweetwater Authority's 2019 Landscape Makeover Contest for theier creative WaterSmart landscaping design. Photo: Sweetwater Authority Creative WaterSmart Landscaping

Creative WaterSmart Landscaping Wins Sweetwater Authority’s 2019 Landscape Contest

Bonita residents Efren and Ily Niervas won the Sweetwater Authority 2019 Landscape Contest after transforming their front yard from a traditional thirsty expanse of lawn to a watersmart landscaping approach. When the Niervas moved to their home in 2017, they realized the cost of watering their yard, with a large lawn and assorted shrubbery, was […]

Colorful, waterwise plants replaced a thirsty, labor intensive front lawn in Deborah Brant's winning landscape makeover. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Winning Vista Irrigation District WaterSmart Landscape Reduces Water Use

Vista resident Deborah Brandt showed how attractive water-wise landscaping can be when low-water use plants are combined with other landscape components in winning the Vista Irrigation District’s 2019 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. District officials selected Brandt’s entry this month among many quality entries received. The Vista Irrigation District is among 13 San Diego member agencies with […]

Most native Southern California plants do well in hotter temperatures, so summer plant care is easy with a little planning. Photo: Annie Spratt/Pixabay

Summer Plant Care

Summer is heating up! While you’re heading to the beach or pool to cool off, your landscape might need a little help keeping cool too. Summer plant care is easy with a little planning. Native plants Most native Southern California plants do well in hotter temperatures if they are established before the summer begins. Avoid […]

La Mesa residents Bob and Shan Cissell transformed 2,500 square feet of turf into their own Conservation Garden in La Mesa, winning the 2019 Oty Water District Landscaping Contest. Photo: Otay Water District

La Mesa Conservation Garden Wins 2019 Otay Water District WaterSmart Landscape Contest

La Mesa residents Bob and Shan Cissell’s conversion of 2,500 square feet of thirsty irrigated lawn into a creative conservation garden was selected by the Otay Water District as the winner of its 2019 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. The annual competition recognizes landscape redesign projects among 13 participating San Diego County water agencies which best represent […]

Planting succulents that are high in water or salt content, such as aloe, can help with fire prevention in your sustainable landscape. Photo: Rudy and Peter Skitterians/Pixabay

Fire Prevention Tips for Landscapes

Fire is a real and constant threat in Southern California. This is especially true in wildland interface areas. For effective fire prevention, it is important to select plants, choose landscape designs and perform consistent maintenance in accordance with fire safety guidelines. Plan for fire safety Landscapes should resist ignition and provide 35 ft. of actively […]

July is "Smart Irrigation Month," designed to call attention to efficient irrigation techniques to preserve the world's fresh water supply. Photo: Irrigation Association

Smart Irrigation Month Highlights Water-Efficient Technology

San Diego regional water agencies are sharing water-efficiency tips during “Smart Irrigation Month.” July is traditionally the month of peak demand for outdoor water use and the reason it was chosen as Smart Irrigation Month when it started in 2005. The month celebrates the social, economic, and environmental benefits of efficient irrigation for landscapes, recreation […]

How to Compost the Right Way

You can make composting on-site a goal for your sustainable landscape maintenance to reduce waste and help the soil thrive. You’ll know when the compost is ready to use when it has an earthy smell, has cooled off, and doesn’t reheat when stirred. Next, look for a uniformly dark brown or even black color. You […]

Agave attenuata is one of the plants available to qualified Fallbrook PUD customers in its new plant voucher program. Photo: Fallbrook PUD plant vouchers

Fallbrook PUD Offers Plant Vouchers For Sustainable Landscaping

The Fallbrook Public Utility District will offer residents in its service area free low-water or drought-tolerant plants beginning July 1. The district will give qualified residents vouchers redeemable for plants at Silverthorn Ranch Nursery in Fallbrook, which produces plants using recycled water. “Customers will go through an application process and qualified applicants will receive free […]

Sometimes a portion of lawn is maintained even with sustainable landscaping plans, and using the right type of grass, along with proper care, can reduce water needs. Image: Inspector/Pixabay

Tips for Responsible Lawn Maintenance

While the goal of many sustainable landscaping plans is to remove the traditional suburban lawn, sometimes a portion of lawn area is maintained. You can ensure that your lawn stays healthy, permeable and green by using sustainable landscaping tips for lawn maintenance: Grass cycling Using proper mowing height and frequency Eliminating chemical use Monitoring watering […]

Trees are the most valuable players in your landscape design, and you can keep them healthy by using proper pruning techniques. Photo: Benjamin Balazs/Pixabay

Take Good Care of Your Landscaping Trees

Trees are the most valuable players in your landscape design. They benefit both the environment and the communities in which they are planted. They save energy and clean the air we breathe. They help counteract the urban heat island effect and combat climate change. Trees provide protection from the elements, and even support healing. Invest […]

Professionals trained in different aspects of sustainable landscaping can help you ensure the success of your project. Photo: Water Authority

Getting Help From Landscaping Professionals

The perfect time to plan your new beautiful, livable and WaterSmart landscape is in summer because fall is the ideal time to plant a garden in this Mediterranean climate we all enjoy. The WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series and related educational programs are a great way to gather the skills needed to make a lawn transformation […]

A colorful landscape full of native blooms is the 2019 Helix Water District Landscape Contest winner. Photo: Helix Water District Helix 2019 Landscape Contest

California Native Garden Wins Helix’s 2019 Landscape Contest

Matt and Lauren Kirkpatrick of La Mesa are this year’s winner of the Helix Water District’s ‘WaterSmart Landscape Contest,’ an annual competition recognizing outstanding water-wise residential landscapes based on overall attractiveness, design, efficient irrigation and appropriate plant selection and maintenance. Compared to the thirsty turf in the Kirkpatricks’ previous landscaping, the growing, colorful and entirely […]

Making plans and preparing a checklist before you start digging can help you stay on track and achieve your landscaping goals. Photo: Pixabay

Use Our Sustainable Landscaping Project Checklist

When you’re beginning a sustainable landscaping project, it can be challenging to remember all the things you need to consider along the way. Use our Sustainable Landscaping Guide Project Checklist to stay on track and achieve your goals. Take the steps you need to prepare your property. Make all your plans before you start digging. […]