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Water Efficient Landscaping

save-waterWater efficient landscaping

On average, Los Angeles gets almost 15 inches of rain each year, according to the Western Regional Climate Center. However, the number has fallen dramatically.

In 2011, we got 12 inches.

In 2012, we got 8.

In 2013, we got 2.

We have even had less than 1 inch.

Landscaping is a practice, or an activity, that uses a lot of water. Water is indispensible to landscaping since plants cannot live without it. However, as a citizen of the city, it is, on your end, absolutely necessary that you conserve water in order to fight the adverse effect of the present dry spell. After all, you can be the next victim.

You can design a landscape that conserves water as well as energy. Read on for a brief overview of some water-conserving landscaping strategies that you can employ before or during the process:

  • Watering

It is important that you determine the amount of water each of your plant needs, so that you don’t overwater them and waste water. You must consider not only a plant’s particular watering requirements, but also the rates of Evapotranspiration.

Evapotranspiration is the amount of water that is evaporated from the soil and transpired through the plant’s leaves. Watering is done in order to replace this amount of water. If you have knowledge of your area’s Evapotranspiration (Et) rate, you can plan the amount of water to be replaced, through irrigation. You may inquire your local water district or cooperative extension service regarding your Et rate. Your particular microclimate will also influence evapotranspiration in different areas of your yard.

It has been found that morning time is best for watering/irrigating your plants. This is because early morning, evaporation rates are low. Doing so also provides plants with water before mid-day when the evaporation rate is the highest.

  • XERISCAPING

Xeriscaping is a systematic scheme of promoting water protection in landscaped areas. Albeit said method is generally used in arid regions, its principles can be used in any region to help conserve water. Here are seven fundamental principles of xeriscaping

  1. Planning and design. Provides direction and guidance, mapping your water and energy conservation strategies, both of which will be dependent upon your regional climate and microclimate.
  2. Zoning plants properly – Bases your plant selections and locations on those that will boom in your regional climate and microclimate.  Always group plants with similar water needs together so that you can get more work done with less amount of water.
  3. Limiting turf areas – Lessens the use of bluegrass turf, which usually involves a lot of supplemental watering. Try substituting a turf grass that uses less water than bluegrass.
  4. Improving the soil – Enables soil to better absorb water and thus encourage deeper roots.
  5. Efficient Irrigation – Uses the irrigation method that waters plants in each area most efficiently, so that less water is wasted.
  6. Use mulches – Using Mulches can help keep plant roots cool, minimize evaporation, avoid crusting in soil, and reduce weed growth.
  7. Maintenance of landscape – Maintain the health of the plants through weeding, pruning, fertilizing, and controlling pests.

You can play your part in saving Los Angeles from the calamity by simply employing techniques that are water friendly in your Los Angeles landscape.

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