Conservation Corner

Tips, resources and news about water-use efficiency

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. […]

Setting Your Landscaping Objectives for Success

When you’ve taken the time to learn about the concepts behind the watershed approach to creating a healthy and sustainable landscape, you should step back and consider the goals you want to achieve in your garden. If you’re facing an ocean of grass lawn and you’ve never given much thought to landscaping goals, it might […]

An irrigation map that clearly shows the layout of your irrigation system can be very helpful when you need to locate components for repair. Photo: Markus Distelrath/Pixabay

Make a Map of Your Irrigation System

It’s easy (and fun) to produce a landscaping plan showing where every shrub and flower is placed on site. Drawing what you can see is relatively easy. But what about the irrigation system underneath your landscaping? Do you know the location of your water mainline, irrigation system clocks, valves and sprinkler heads? Understanding the layout […]

Well designed and operated irrigation systems can reliably deliver the water your landscaping needs without waste or excess. Photo: AxxLC/Pixabay

What’s Your Landscape Irrigation IQ?

Learn the basics of most irrigation systems, the key components of intelligent irrigation systems, and how to employ low pressure to maximize your system’s efficiency. Conventional irrigation systems are notoriously inefficient Conventional irrigation systems can suffer due to poor design, inadequate maintenance, and improper management. Well designed and operated systems can reliably deliver the necessary […]

The best type of irrigation system for your landscape can depend on many factors, including the size and shape of your landscape and types of plants you have. Photo: California Department of Water Resources

Spray Versus Drip Irrigation: Which is Best for You?

Spray irrigation emits water in an overlapping pattern, while drip irrigation delivers water directly to the roots of plants. How do you decide which meets the needs of your landscaping? The case for spray irrigation Spray irrigation can be an efficient way to irrigate large landscapes with groundcover or uniform plant materials like lawns or […]

Ensuring that spray heads are properly tuned and far enough away from buildings or impermeable surfaces helps maximize your water efficiency. Photo: California Department of Water Resources

Put Your Irrigation to the Test

Turn on each valve of your irrigation system, and observe how quickly water begins to run off your landscaping. Note the time when each runoff occurs. For some systems, this could be immediately. For others it may take as long as five minutes. Make sure that the spray irrigation is never running for longer than […]

Watering your plants by hand is a great way to control exactly how much water they receive and observe them closely to be sure they are flourishing in the early stages.

Top Irrigation Tips for Smart Landscape Management

Use these helpful tips to get the most from every drop of irrigation applied to your landscaping through the smart use of irrigation systems and supplemental hand watering. Keep water on your landscaping Watch your irrigation while the system is running. Check to make sure sprinkler heads aren’t spraying water onto sidewalks, patios or structures. […]

San Marcos resident Jeff Moore's landscape makeover won recognition in the 2018 Landscape Makeover Contest. Photo: Water Authority

WaterSmart Landscape Contest Seeks Inspiring Entries

The 2019 WaterSmart Landscape Contest invites homeowners across San Diego County to share their landscaping makeovers to inspire and encourage more people to consider their own makeovers by showcasing the beauty and variety of water-efficient landscapes. The winning landscape from each of the participating water agencies will receive a prize valued at $250 and be […]

Reduce the amount of water your landscape needs with efficient irrigation. Photo: Peggy Choucair/Pixabay

Irrigation Efficiency Impacts Plant Health and Water Use

Irrigation systems have a lot of interconnected mechanical elements. They must be thoughtfully designed, installed and programmed. Once in place, irrigation systems must be maintained properly for optimal performance. “Irrigation efficiency” is a way of describing how well your irrigation system is delivering water for the beneficial use of the plants in your landscaping. Issues […]

Use a variety of contouring methods in your sustainable landscape design. Photo: Water Authority

Contouring Tips Help You Make The Grade  

It’s smart to use existing depressions, slopes and contours for guidance when planning your landscape grading. If your yard is perfectly flat, you’ll need to move soil and features around to create more rain-holding contour areas.   Do a Percolation Test, and prep your soil as needed to make it as much of a water-retaining sponge […]