The Guild Report:  
Practicing Water Management
May 2012 
In This Issue
Point of View
Water Conservation Tips
More Bottled Water?

Point of View  
With Employee Owner
Felix Guillen 




"With just a few months of employment at Gardeners Guild, I feel very welcome! I really enjoy our team work, and the support from the staff. Here my work and effort is recognized and appreciated.I take pleasure in creating a beautiful and enjoyable atmosphere for others. In addition I look forward to going to work everyday"
Felix is a crew leader at Gardeners' Guild.  We appreciate his enthusiasm, professionalism and skill. 


Tips on drought resistant plants: 







The rain seems to be behind us now - we think.  Longer days, more sun mean that for those of you who have irrigation systems it's time to get a system check up.  It is a first step in ensuring there are no leaks or malfunctions that could result in wasted water.


Big picture - water conservation needs to be top of mind. California's Department of Water Resources Director says that we will continue to have a water supply crisis until we improve our conveyance system, increase storage and resolve the complex environmental problems of the Delta.


The good news is that there is a lot that we can do.  We're focused this month on water management for irrigation.  In addition, I'm including part of a National Geographic article on our increasing use of bottled water.      


We welcome your comments. 


All the best,
Suzanne Harris

Water Conservation Tips for the Landscape

Our tips this month reflect recommendations from Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD), East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) and the GGI staff:


Tip #1: Schedule irrigation system checks consistently 

Correct any tilted or blocked irrigation spray heads

Fix irrigation leaks

Trim back vegetation where it blocks spray

Install a rain shut off device   


Tip #2: Track your water consumption 

Schedule irrigation cycles to water more deeply and less frequently.  Longer irrigation times encourage deeper roots and increase soil moisture

Adjust watering schedule to account for longer/shorter days.  

Schedule a water audit.


Tip #3:  Consider drought tolerant plants  

Introduce plants that have low water needs

Reduce your lawn area.  Turfgrass requires 20,000 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet. 

Group plants with similar water needs together 

See links to the left for suggestions for beautiful and colorful plants that suit our bay area climate.      


Tip #4: Invest in New Technology

Water efficient spray heads; more efficiently distribute landscape water

Drip irrigation offers better control over where the water goes; it is distributed more efficiently. About 90% efficiency, especially in small, narrow or curve shaped planter beds.    

Weather based smart irrigation controllers; they take the guess work out of programming and will adjust automatically to give your plants the right amount of water.  They will save you anywhere from 15-30% off your water bill


Tip #5:  Mulch!

Not only is mulch decorative, but a layer of 2-3 inches of it will improve plant health and help your soil hold water and keep it cool in the summer.  Mulch comes in many different varieties.  Where to use it: under your trees,  along edges; in planter beds.  Leave grass clippings on your lawn.  


 Landscape Industry Certified Technician 


Consider (if you don't already have one) a landscape industry certified technician to assist you.  They can consult with you on how to improve the efficiency of your system and will work with the local water districts on water budgeting.  An efficient irrigation system will save you money.  On just simple upgrades and repairs we were able to save one of our clients 53% off their water bill!  




Americans Drinking More Bottled Water*

It seems hard to believe, but sales of bottled water are booming.  In fact sales have grown five times as fast as the 0.9 percent growth in the sales of beverages overall. In spite of anti-bottled water campaigns across the country including over a dozen university bans the growth in consumption is called extraordinary.  Part of the reason for the surge could be that the big three bottled water companies - Coke, Pepsi and Nestle - have been discounting their water heavily in the last few years.  Charles Fishman, the author of an article for National Geographic says that 2011 sales are the highest total volume of bottled water ever sold in the U.S., and the highest per person volume.