WaterSmart Living

Resources and tips to increase water-use efficiency

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

Find the Right Plant for Your Landscape Plans Online

If you’re looking to upgrade your landscape or just love gardens, it can be challenging to choose the right plant that will thrive within your WaterSmart Living landscape plans for your specific conditions. The online plant finder WaterSmart Landscaping in San Diego County can assist you through a comprehensive database of choices well suited to this region’s […]

WaterSmart-The Bucks' winning landscape design includes beautiful outdoor living areas. Photo: OMWD

WaterSmart Living Landscapes Come in Many Styles

Using water efficiently is a way of life and an important responsibility in a beautiful, Mediterranean climate like San Diego County. WaterSmart landscaping is all about rethinking the way limited water resources are applied and making smart choices to reduce outdoor water use. Saving water isn’t the only reason for a WaterSmart garden. WaterSmart landscapes […]

High quality landscape soil will support your WaterSmart landscape design. Photo: Lisa Fotios/Pexels healthy soil

Getting the Dirt on Healthy Landscape Soil

Soil is essential to a healthy landscape and efficient water use. Learn about your soil’s characteristics and how to care for it. The results include easier maintenance, a healthier environment, and a more beautiful landscape. Here are some simple tests to help you evaluate your soil. Soil Drainage Assessment Evaluate your results based on the […]

Even the strictest drought restrictions allow for watering trees on residential and commercial properties. Photo: Helix Water District landscape trees

Make Landscape Trees a Priority During Drought

As the unprecedented drought continues to affect California and the San Diego region, homeowners can still balance the need to conserve water as efficiently as possible while preserving valuable landscaping, including trees. Trees can be maintained while following California’s water guidelines. Trees are among the most valuable investment in San Diego County’s landscape – including […]

The Montgomerys' new design incorporates a variety of native and low water use plants. Photo: Helix Water District landscape professional

Do It Yourself or Hire a Landscape Professional?

If you choose to design, implement and maintain a new WaterSmart landscape yourself, you can follow the Homeowner’s Guide to a WaterSmart Landscape to help you plan, prepare, and work through each step. Free classes and online videos can help. If you’re interested in hiring a landscape professional, the WaterSmart Landscape guide is also helpful […]

WaterSmart homeowner Jeff Moore's back yard zen garden featuring his landscape work fit beautifully into his area's climate zone. Photo: Water Authority caring for

Caring For Your WaterSmart Living Landscape

Whether you install a new WaterSmart Living landscape or are just looking for tips on how to conserve water in your existing landscape, the following section can help you make an immediate impact on your landscape water savings. View these tips, and follow the guidelines below Plan ahead. Keep a copy of the plant legend, […]

Native plant-sustainability-garden-landscapetracting pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. Image: Water Authority plant installation

Plant Installation Brings Your New WaterSmart Landscape to Life

With your new WaterSmart landscaping plans complete, demolition and turf removal done, and your new irrigation system in place, it’s time to get started on the plant installation. For most homeowners, this is the most rewarding part of the process seeing your new landscaping come to life. Review the following tips to help you through […]

Take time to learn about your possibleWaterSmart Living irrigation choices. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

Installing WaterSmart Living Irrigation

Successfully installing WaterSmart Living irrigation starts long before you get out your tools. You need to complete an assessment of your landscape plan’s specific water needs, draw a complete plan showing the layout, then select your irrigation and purchase your irrigation equipment. If your soil needs amendments (and it almost certainly does), you must get […]

Removing your turf is water smart, but there is a right approach to take. Photo: MK Digital Products remove backyard turf turf removal

Best Options For Turf Removal

Once you’ve finalized your landscaping plans, you’ll have some demolition work ahead of you, including the existing turf you plan to remove or replace. Removing turf presents choices about the best way to accomplish this task. Learn more about turf removal options and understand the steps before you begin. Start here with this video demonstrating […]

Inspect your sprinkler heads regularly to make sure they are not obstructed or watering onto pavement or other hardscapes. Photo: Irrigation Association

Irrigate Your WaterSmart Landscape Like a Pro

Irrigation is an essential part of any good landscape design. It ensures plants and trees get the water they need to thrive without wasting a drop. Once you know how much water your landscape plants require, it’s time to take a closer look at your irrigation system. Whether you are working with a professional designer […]

Matilija poppies, or Romneya coulteri, have the largest flower of any poppy. It's native to dry, sunny areas from California to Baja and are good choiices for successful sustanable landscaping. Photo: Kimberly Rotter / Pixabay

How to Pick Your Plants for a Successful WaterSmart Landscape

Once your WaterSmart Living Landscape design starts coming together, pick your plants for each water-use category to ensure you meet your WaterSmart water conservation goals. Focus on local native plants or plants from similar climate regions. Let this video help you choose the right plants for our Mediterranean climate  Once you’ve chosen your plant types, […]

Native plants-New landscaping-room to grow-plants-watersmart living landscape

Designing Your WaterSmart Living Landscape to Fit Your Life

When designing your WaterSmart Living landscape, you want your new outdoor space to fit your house, your neighborhood, and your lifestyle. Finding that fit begins by asking a few basic questions. First, how do you want to use your space? It’s possible to significantly improve your home’s water efficiency and meet your lifestyle needs at […]

While compost and mulch may seem interchangeable, they have distinctly different uses in your sustainable landscaping. Photo: Water Authority Compost vs. Mulch

Using Compost and Mulch to Build Healthy Soil

When undertaking a WaterSmart landscape renovation, strive to continuously feed as much organic matter as possible to the landscape soil to keep it healthy. Start first with compost and mulch to jump-start the process. Eventually, your plants will feed themselves with their own leaf litter. Organic matter feeds microbes living in the soil that make […]

High quality landscape soil will support your WaterSmart landscape design. Photo: Lisa Fotios/Pexels healthy soil

Building Healthy Soil: Give It Some Space

Healthy soil consists of elements we don’t typically think of as soil at all. In fact, one of the most critical aspects of soil is the space between the particles. Soil space results from a process called aggregation. Solid matter will aggregate under the right conditions, forming space between the masses. This allows air and […]

Soil-WaterSmartSD-Drought, Landscape makeover

Get to Know Your Soil Conditions

Every individual landscape sits in one of San Diego County’s 16 watersheds. The watershed approach to landscaping considers every garden its own mini-watershed, holding onto or cleaning the water falling on it and nurturing a diverse habitat of plants and insects. Each mini-watershed can be controlled by the people who steward it. Individual landscaping choices […]