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!