Liquid News

Smarty Plants – Transform Your Garden into an Always Water Smart Landscape

Color Galore

Spring is the perfect time to transform your yard into an Always Water Smart landscape and Irvine Ranch Water District can help.

“Landscape water use can account for up to 70 percent of residential water use, with nearly half of this water being wasted through overwatering, runoff and evaporation,” said Nathan Adams, IRWD Water Efficiency Analyst.

By planting a water-efficient landscape, residents can reduce their water bills and have a healthier and attractive landscape.

There’s no need to constrain your landscape to a patch of grass when there are an abundance of water-efficient plants with lots of textures and colors. Native plants are well-suited to southern California’s mild winters and warm, dry summers. They’re less maintenance, use little water and don’t need soil preparation or fertilizing.

If you’re ready to make this transition but are uncertain about what types of plants to use and how to design an Always Water Smart landscape, we are here to help. IRWD has assembled a comprehensive online landscape and plant resource guide. At www.irwdcalscape.org, visitors can create their own water-efficient landscape by selecting plants based on season, color, height range and other options. Visitors can also receive information on design, landscape rebates, irrigation schedules and much more.

Here are some general design recommendations to assist in transforming your landscape:

  • Less is more in planting design. Complex designs require more maintenance. Limit the number of plant species and create well-defined planted areas by not scattering plants throughout open areas.
  • Consider how much lawn you would like or need. Plant lawn where it will be enjoyed, or forego it altogether and consider lawn alternatives, such as ground covers, decks or patios. Grass is the highest water-consuming plant in the garden.
  • If you enjoy seasonal color, consider container gardens with lush and low-maintenance ornamentals, grasses or succulents.
  • Look for plants with the same water needs and group these together to maximize water use and allow for better plant health.
  • A year-round evergreen garden can be achieved with low-maintenance ground covers such as dymondia, rosemary or star jasmine.
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