Conservation Corner

Tips, resources and news about water-use efficiency

Take the Test: Use a Soil Probe

If you want to create a healthy, thriving landscape full of beautiful plants, you need to know how to use an important soil management tool: a soil probe.  Irrigation is essential to keep your landscaping green and growing. But to do so, you need to know as much as possible about your soils. One way […]

Helix Water District Names Winner of 2018 WaterSmart Landscape Contest

Helix Water District has named Carey Hultgren and Paul Geldbach of La Mesa as the winner of its 2018 WaterSmart Landscape Contest, an annual competition that recognizes outstanding water-wise residential landscapes based on design and overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection and maintenance, and irrigation methods. This 1930s Spanish-style home on Dutton Lane sits on a […]

Three things are required for optimal garden soil: OWL, or oxygen, water, and life. Photo: SDCWA

Gardening Like A Wise Old OWL

Your landscaping soil needs three things to feed the billions of microbes within it that can transform brick-hard, lifeless dirt into healthy, living soil: Oxygen, Water, and Life. Or in shorthand: OWL.  Oxygen Lets Microbes Breathe Free  Oxygen is needed by plant roots and soil organisms. Healthy soil has lots of tiny pockets of air. […]

Compare your soil to these diagrams to determine your landscaping's soil composition. You can then adjust amendments to reach the optimum mix. Illustration: SDCWA Jar Soil Test

What Kind of Soil Do You Have? Take the Test

If you have ever put a shovel into the ground in San Diego County, you have likely encountered the region’s impermeable soils. Impermeable soils are defined by their poor infiltration areas. This means water doesn’t flow through the soil to replenish the groundwater, because the soil is too dense.   It also means water doesn’t soak […]

San Diego County's six climate zone according to CIMIS

San Diego’s Six CIMIS Climate Zones

Your landscape’s water needs go a long way toward determining your garden’s design and your plant choices. By choosing wisely, you can minimize the need for artificial irrigation and still create a beautiful, sustainable landscape. Under the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS), San Diego County is divided into six climate zones: Coastal, Coastal Inland, […]

Irrigation Sprinkler Head

Gardeners, Do You Know Your ETo?

People around the world know San Diego for its beautiful, sunny and mild weather. San Diego residents know our daily weather has more variety than visitors might imagine. Climate is defined as the average weather conditions in an area over a long period, generally 30 years or more. German climate scientist Wladimir Koppen first divided […]

Choosing native plants can help you minimize the need for artificial irrigation of your San Diego County sustainable landscaping. Photo: SDCWA

Take the Watershed Approach to Landscaping

Many San Diego County residents embrace sustainability as a central principle for creating or renovating their landscapes. Treating every garden, no matter its size, as its own mini-watershed allows it to capture and retain water to nurture a diverse habitat of plants and helpful insects. What elements do you need to consider when taking a […]

Waterwise plant choices sustainble landscaping

Hot off the Press: Sustainable Landscaping Guidebooks Available Countywide

Free manuals include photos, diagrams and checklists for environmentally friendly upgrades. Free copies of a popular guidebook for environmentally friendly landscape upgrades are available to residents countywide starting today, thanks to a second printing of the “San Diego Sustainable Landscape Guidelines” by the San Diego County Water Authority. Homeowners who commit to meeting rigorous sustainable landscaping […]