Xeriscape & Water-Wise Landscaping
Water Use on Landscapes
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Outdoor Conservation Tips
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Outdoor Conservation Tips
Outdoor Conservation Tips
General Yard/Landscaping Tips
Use mulch, compost and wood chips as ground cover to reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool.
Don’t worry about the dryness of the top inch of soil. Instead check the moisture content of the soil 6 to 8 inches below the surface. Use a soil moisture meter or screwdriver to test. Water only if the moisture meter registers "dry" or if the screwdriver doesn't go in easily.
Use porous materials for walkways and patios to keep water in your yard and prevent wasteful runoff.
Direct downspouts and other runoff towards shrubs and trees, or collect and use for your garden.
Wait for fall to put new plants in the ground. Spring is the second best time to plant.
Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, light, and water.
Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose a low water use plant for year-round landscape color and save up to 550 gallons each year.
Reduce the amount of grass in your yard by planting shrubs, and ground cover with rock and granite mulching.
Efficient Irrigation Tips
Water all plants deeply but infrequently to encourage deeper, healthier rooting.
Irrigate according to the requirements of the plants, not on a fixed schedule.
Install water-efficient landscaping.
Don’t water when it’s windy or raining.
Never water in a way that it will drain into the gutter.
Check monthly for leaks in outside pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings.
Teach your family how to shut off your automatic watering systems. Turn sprinklers off if the system is malfunctioning or when a storm is approaching.
If washing your car at home, use a bucket of water and sponge.
Winterize outdoor spigots when temperatures dip below freezing to prevent pipes from bursting or freezing.
Never allow a hose to run continuously.
When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.
While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. Apply the minimum amount of fertilizer needed.
Use a spray nozzle with a shut-off handle on your hose.
Avoid installing ornamental water features and fountains that spray water into the air. Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation.
Water your lawn and landscaping before dawn or after the sun sets when there’s less evaporation.
Adjust your sprinklers so they don’t spray on sidewalks, driveway or street.
Check or readjust my automatic sprinkler timer at least once a month during the watering season.
Get a rain barrel. Use recycled rain water to water your lawn.
Build a rain gauge. The average lawn needs one inch of water per week to survive.
Use greywater to on your landscaping.
Don't water your lawn on windy days. After all, sidewalks and driveways don't need water.
Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn or garden with a hose.
Resist the temptation to water when it's hot out. The hotter it is, the more water you lose to evaporation.
Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it's needed.
For Your Lawn
Use a soil moisture meter before you water. Water only when it reads "dry." Don't have a soil moisture meter? Use a screwdriver as a soil probe to test soil moisture. If it goes in easily, don't water.
Use sprinklers that throw big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller drops of water and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
Set lawn mower blades one notch higher since longer grass reduces evaporation.
Leave grass clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
Aerate your lawn. Punch holes in your lawn about six inches apart so water will reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
Never water grass if the soil is still wet.
Avoid planting turf in areas that are hard to water such as steep inclines and isolated strips along sidewalks and driveways.
Use the sprinkler for larger areas of grass. Water small patches by hand to avoid waste.
Install a rain shut-off device on your automatic sprinklers to eliminate unnecessary watering.
Miscellaneous Outdoor Water Conservation Tips
For hanging baskets, planters and pots, place ice cubes under the moss or dirt to give your plants a cool drink of water and help eliminate water overflow.
When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don't throw it in the trash, dump it on a plant.
Use a broom and a blower to clean off your driveway, walkways, patio, or balcony instead of a hose.
Don’t allow children to play with the hose.
Take your car to a car wash that recycles its wash water.
Report water waste to the DWP so that we can address problems quickly and educate all of our residents and visitors.
Check your water meter and bill to track your water usage.
Put your garden in a greenhouse. A green house naturally recycles a portion of the water put into it.
If You Have a Pool
Use a cover to cut down evaporation.
Use a grease pencil to mark the water level of your pool at the skimmer. Check the mark 24 hours later. Your pool should lose no more than 1/4 inch each day.
Repair any swimming pool leaks.
Manually clean your filter. You'll do a more thorough job and use less water. The average backwash uses between 250 to 1,000 gallons of water.
City of Big Bear Lake, Department of Water (DWP)
41972 Garstin Dr. | P.O. Box 1929 | Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Ph: (909) 866-5050 | Fax: (909) 866-3184
Mon - Fri: 8 am - 4:30 pm
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