UCCE Master Gardeners of San Bernardino County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of San Bernardino County

Water-Wise Gardening


Girl Gardener

Take advantage of these great tips for a water-wise landscape! Get more information from The California Garden Web for water-saving edible gardens, tree care during times of drought and much more.

To learn more about landscape irrigation and water conservation, listen to recorded presentations from the UCR Urban Landscape Virtual Field Day held on September 3, 2020.

Water-saving Plant Tips: 

  • Remove plants in crowded beds or low-priority plants competing for soil moisture 
  • Mulch, mulch, mulch! 
    • 3 to 4" layer reduces water evaporation and weeds
    • Protects roots from heat 
    • Reduces weeds who compete for water 
  • Avoid heavy pruning 
  • Do not overuse fertilizers, which increase growth and water demands 
  • Infrequent deep watering encourages deeper root growth, and results in plants with greater drought tolerance  
  • Use a drip irrigation system, grouping plants with similar water needs together on one drip irrigation line 

Water-saving Lawn Tips: 

  • Select water efficient varieties suited for your local climate 
  • Replace nonessential turf with ground covers, mulches, decks and walkways 
  • Adjust irrigation schedule monthly - to reflect seasonal changes 
  • Water at night, ideally between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., this reduces evaporation and wind will not be strong enough to interfere with sprinkler patterns
  • Mow lawns higher during very warm weather 
    • Helps reduce growth rate 
    • Protects lawn from sunburn
    • Promotes deeper root growth 
    • Shades soil, reduces weeds 

California's drought is serious!  You've come to the right place for up-to-date drought information from University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources academics working in this area.

Contact a UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteer in San Bernardino County for more help in your own backyard and landscape!  See Ask a Master Gardener for more information.

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