Five things you can do for your garden to save water in San Diego County

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water1As we continue to face drought conditions here in San Diego, and restrictions on watering become more stringent, there are some methods to use to retain your garden, while using less water. Many of us may be using almost twice as much water as we actually need to maintain our gardens. Indeed, most plants and fruits and vegetables would actually be better off if we watered them less, while more efficiently.

  1. You should always water early in the morning, as close to sunrise as possible. This means the starting time on your sprinkler-timer should be adjusted with both time changes, and at the two equal times in between, such as mid-July and mid-January, to keep time with the sun. Your watering should always end before 8 in the morning. Stopping before the sun has heated the air decreases the wasting of your water through evaporation and wind. Watering soon after the sun comes up will lessen the likelihood of damaging your plants, and makes it harder for many plant diseases to take hold. Finally, it is crucial that the sprinklers are turned off during rainy spells.
  2. Deep, long slow watering is the way to go, coupled with watering every third day, not more often. Therefore, increase the duration by 50%, while reducing the frequency by 66%. This is a more economical system, as well as better for the plants.water2
  3. Save all of your vegetable and non-citrus fruits waste in a compost. Regularly add your compost to your garden’s beds and your plant’s pots. Your plants will be healthier and will need less water.
  4. When adding fertilizers to your soil, only use organic products. These mixtures add nutrients to the dirt a little at a time. Be sure to match the right type of fertilizer for each type of plant. Getting the nutrients is also a way to decrease the amount of water the plants need.
  5. Do regular maintenance on your sprinkler system. Check for and replace damaged head, and look for leaks in the pipes every week or so. If everyone in the county fixed all leaks in their sprinklers on a timely basis, hundreds of gallons of water being wasted would be saved.

water3Those are merely a few of the hundreds of ways we can all contribute to lessening the effect of the drought. More ideas for water conserving can be found here. If everyone makes the effort, we can all make sure there is water enough for us all.

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