FREE, Water Efficient Landscape Plans
Sweetwater Authority customers are encouraged to use the following professionally drawn, water-efficient landscape plans for single family homes. The Landscapes for San Diego Project produced four exciting landscape plans, each rendered for a model home by well-known San Diego landscape architects. Each architect themed his/her plans to fit common family audiences:
Empty Nesters/Entertainer Landscape
- Seasonally adjust your irrigation controller to follow changing weather patterns. (This may not be necessary if you have a weather-based controller)
- If rain is forecasted, turn of irrigation 1-2 days prior
- You may want to purchase a rain sensor for your existing controller to assist in water management during the wet season
- Leave grass height at 4-6 inches
- Irrigate in the late evenings or early morning to reduce evaporation.
- Walk your system frequently while irrigating to inspect for trouble spots
- If you notice mushrooms or algae in your turf areas you are probably overwatering
- Reduce the number of times you fertilize. Fertilizer requires additional watering
- Check your root zone, roots zone for turf typically range from 3-6 inches on average
- Probe your soil for resistance, you want to be able to penetrate the soil with a soil probe or screw driver to a depth of 5-8 inches with little resistance, typically an average root zone for turf is 3-6 inches if you can penetrate deeper you may be overwatering
- Break up watering times to eliminate ponding and evaporation. Instead of water 12 minutes all at once, have two 6 minute run times for that area with a 15-20 minute window that allows for infiltration. Newer rotator style nozzles are designed to apply water at a much lower precipitation rate than older spray heads and may not need to be broken down unless irrigating slopes
- Misting occurs when a spray head has too much pressure as the water exits the nozzle creating a mist, which is easily blown away or is lost to evaporation. To avoid this you may need to reduce the system pressure on those zones.
- Perform a walk test if you step on your turf and you can’t see a footprint then no additional watering is required you may be able to reduce watering times by 1-2 minutes on your irrigation. If you can see your foot print then the turf is stressed and you may want to increase watering
- If you notice yellowing of the tips of leaves, typically a sign of overwatering, consult with a nursery
- Take advantage of mulches to hold in soil moisture. Rock is also a good resource to retain soil moisture and prevent weeds, although do not completely surround the plants with rocks, as this may create a heat island for the plant due to the reflecting heat coming off the rocks.
For more on outdoor irrigation, link to the www.thegarden.org. For more gardening tips, check out Sunset Magazine's climate zone guide.
Do you have a landscape that you are proud of? Why not enter the Ca. Friendly Landscape Contest. You could win a $250.00 gift card.
Click HERE to visit the official site.