Five Ways to Make Your Garden Drought-Friendly
Written by Eric Kline, Outside Sales Representative
Downsize your lawn space by simply adding an outdoor patio or walkway through your garden. Reducing grass in your yard will cut back irrigation significantly. By adding an outdoor living space, you’ll be able to enjoy your yard more than before. Check out our HydroXscape options to design your tropical oasis.
Choose native plants for your region and weather instead! They usually require less water and fertilizer. Another benefit is pests don’t seem to care for native plants as much as imported ones. California has many drought tolerant and fire-safe plant options. Typically native plants have a label of “second-tier” in terms of aesthetics, but California has beautiful alternatives to non-native plants. Check out which native plants grow in your county.
There are many ways to reduce your water usage when irrigating your landscape. Just a few ways include: adjusting pressure regulation, determining your soil type, using high-efficiency nozzles, weather-based smart controllers, and drip irrigation. Here is a simple guide to some of our favorite smart controllers which save you at least 30% water:
- WeatherTRAK LC downloads daily ET values via a subscription service using cloud-based technology. Download the free Mobile app for easy mobile control!
- Signature EZ-Connect uses Wi-Fi capabilities to connect to the Internet and downloads weather data daily for accurate automatic watering. Download the free Mobile app for mobile control!
- Hunter Pro-C with Solar Sync sensor contains an on-site weather station with automatic shut-off during rainfall. Automated daily weather adjustments to run times ensure water efficiency.
- Rain Bird ESP-SMTe Series is simple to use and saves up to 30-70% water when irrigating. It measures rainfall and automatically adjusts your watering schedule.
- Toro EVOLUTION Controller is easy to install and perfect for residential and light commercial applications. It is computer-programmable with a USB stick for more accurate watering. Add a Climate Logic sensor and it instantly becomes a smart controller for accurate watering!
- Soil Moisture Sensors is a good tool to use to prevent over watering. The sensor will shut down the irrigation when the desired moisture level has been reached.
Mulch Your Yard!
Mulch retains water and therefore water cannot escape so easily through evaporation. Add 2-4 inches of mulch for your landscape. Your soil and plants will benefit significantly by adding mulch. It cools the soil and prevents weeds from popping through your yard.
Choose the Right Grass!
Choosing the right grass can save you a good amount of water. Bermuda grass requires only ¾ – 1 inch of water when it begins to wilt and is light green in color. Its blades are thick and withstand the heat and drought as well as reduce weeds in your lawn. It is an invasive species, however, and can dominate your flower beds and vegetable gardens. To prevent this from happening, you’ll have to remove it quickly. Bermuda has the versatility to grow on many different soils, reducing the amount of soil amendments you might have to use. St. Augustine grass also only requires ¾ – 1 inch of water when it is under stress. This grass is dense and withstands complete sun and shade. St. Augustine is fairly easy to maintain but needs a fertilizer with a lot of nitrogen. Be sure to choose the right nitrogen fertilizer for your lawn. At Hydro-scape we carry a wide range of fertilizers to help keep your lawn looking green and healthy year round.
Drought Friendly Also Offers Less Work
Doing the above steps will ensure your lawn and plants require less of your time and effort. Less lawn equals less mowing, and mulching cuts down on the amount of weeds to pull. Using the latest in irrigation technology allows easy automatic scheduling. Installing the right grass for your landscape reduces overall maintenance. Find all you need to build your drought-friendly garden at your local Hydro-Scape. Visit us today!