How to Garden in a Drought

California is in a drought and that means that we need to be careful with every drop of water that we use, particularly outdoors. Here’s a guide to how to help your landscape survive the drought.

Get Efficient

  • Introduce drip irrigation
  • Invest in a smart controller
  • Water less frequently but longer and close to plant roots
  • Redirect downspouts to capture rainwater and direct it to garden areas

Prioritize Your Landscape

  1. Vegetables and fruits get priority. They help feed your family.
  2. Water-wise plants and shade trees. Water-wise plants use little or no water once established. Shade trees help keep plants cool and less thirsty.
  3. Thirsty plants – lawn, high-water-use and container plants. These plants are the lowest on the priority list. If you have to cut back, start here.

Use Mulch
There are many benefits to using mulch in your landscape.

  • Retain moisture: less watering needed and grow healthier plants.
  • Moderates temperature: cool soil in the summer and warm soil in the winter.
  • Decomposes nutrients: enrich soil and better soil quality.
  • Discourage weeds: keeps weeds away and reduce maintenance.

Can I Plant?
Check with your local water agency and if you can water at least two times a week, you can plant water-wise plants and shade trees. This is not the time to install new lawn or thirsty, non-California friendly plants.

Recycle Indoor Water Outdoors

  • Recycle water you are using indoors by capturing what otherwise might go down the drain and use it on plants.
  • Put a bucket in your shower.
  • Use cooled cooking water.
  • Wash your fruits and veggies over a bucket.
  • Keep a pitcher next to the sink and empty water glasses in it.