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Water Conservation Tips

We're changing up our monthly gardening tips for the month of February to focus on ways to conserve water in the face of the drought we're in the midst of here in Northern California. Here are our recommendations for water conservation in and around your property:

  1. Learn to read your water meter and monitor it weekly -- look for large increases that may mean a leak in the system.

  2. Take time to monitor the indicator dial on your water meter for movement. The dial should not move as you watch it unless water is being used. If it is moving when it shouldn't be you may have a leak.

  3. Create a water budget for the amount of water your garden actually needs, not what you think it needs (you can also seek professional help from Gardenworks' water management team with water budgeting).

  4. Learn to program your irrigation controller or timer efficiently. Then program that irrigation controller/timer to water at night and before 9 am.

  5. If you have spray irrigation turn it on and time how long it takes before water starts running down the sidewalk -- this is called run-off.  Program your controller/timer to water no longer than that and use multiple cycles to put down the amount of water needed.  This is called "cycle and soak."

  6. Repair broken sprinklers and pipes quickly.

  7. Install a rain sensing device that will automatically shut off your irrigation water during periods of rain.

  8. Install sprinkler heads with built-in check valves that prevent "weeping" when the system turns off

  9. Minimize evaporation by installing a 3-inch layer of an organic mulch product.

  10. Check soil moisture before an irrigation cycle -- use a 12-inch screwdriver. If the soil is moist below 3 inches do not water.

  11. Water less frequently but deeper soaking.

  12. Install  a drip irrigation system.

  13. Install low-water using plants.

  14. Irrigate plants with similar watering needs together.

  15. Consider installing a "weather based" or "Smart" irrigation controller.

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