‘Landscaping 101’ is a huge water-wise resource
Lakewood residents don’t need to wait to take a free water-wise class. They can go online at their convenience and bone up on ways to save. The “Landscape 101” section of the “Save our Water” website is but one slice of an extensive collection of drought-conquering tips.
The page takes water-saving gardening advice many residents are already familiar with a step further by adding links to details and sample designs and regional resources. Beyond instructive tips they hope to inspire Lakewood’s green thumbs with samples of what others are doing and links to additional resources.
Save Our Water is a statewide effort started in 2009. It’s aimed at helping Californians reduce their everyday water use both indoors and outdoors. It is the result of a partnership between the Association of California Water Agencies and the California Department of Water Resources packed with “ideas and inspiration for permanently reducing water use.
Below is a sample of the Landscape 101 introduction.
Appropriate Plant Selection: Select trees, shrubs and groundcovers based on their adaptability to your region’s soil and climate. California has an abundance of beautiful native plants which generally have lower water demands, fewer pest problems and less fertilizer needs than plants that have been brought into our state. The Sunset Plant Finder is a good tool to find the right plants for your area.
The Right Plants for the Right Soil: Knowing your soil and selecting the right kind of plants for your area is an important part of a water-wise landscape.
Efficient Irrigation: Most people water their landscaping more than it needs. The greatest waste of outdoor water is applying too much too often.
Mulch: Use mulch wherever possible. A good mulch conserves water by significantly reducing moisture evaporation from the soil. Mulch also reduces weed populations, prevents soil compaction and keeps soil temperatures more moderate.
Maintenance: One of the best benefits of a water-wise landscape is that it requires less maintenance. A well-designed landscape can decrease maintenance by as much as 50 percent through reduced mowing; once-a-year mulching; elimination of non-California-friendly plants; and more efficient watering techniques.
Water-smart gardening can be daunting, but luckily there are a lot of resources out there for Californians. Many local water agencies and districts have created their own water-smart gardening websites, a great tool for anyone looking to update their landscaping.