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Drought Busters: Expert Tips on Landscape Water Conservation

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With the current drought conditions in California, it’s time to rethink the way we approach landscape irrigation. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2015)

For more information on water conservation, visit our drought resource page here.

In light of the ongoing drought in California, the government has called for a 30 percent statewide reduction in water usage. While measures like minimizing shower durations and running dishwashers less frequently will help, in order to achieve this goal, we need to focus our conservation efforts where the lion’s share of our water is expended: outdoors.

There are several ways to conserve water on a landscape, but these can be boiled down to three primary aspects: rethinking conventional watering methods, upgrading inefficient irrigation equipment and implementing drought-tolerant landscaping techniques. To address these points, we’ve asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in with some professional insight.

Amend your watering habits
Californians have a tendency to overwater lawns, trees and plants, but with the current drought conditions, this is no longer a luxury we can afford. That’s why Jeff Sheehan of Confidence Landscaping, Inc. proposes a switch from conventional watering practices to a “need-based” approach. Continue reading “Drought Busters: Expert Tips on Landscape Water Conservation” »

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Battling Water Conservation Fatigue

A good water-saving measure is to replace your lawn with drought-resistant plants, like these decorative artichokes recently installed by Reilly Designs, a Diamond Certified company.

A good water-saving measure is to replace your lawn with drought-resistant plants, like these decorative artichokes recently installed by Reilly Designs, a Diamond Certified company.

For more information on water conservation, visit our drought resource page here.

We’ve been encouraged to cut back on our water use for many months now, yet we’re still not conserving enough. So now the governor is ordering mandatory water use reductions with the specifics yet to be worked out by the individual water agencies.

Why have we been so slow to make changes in our water consumption habits? They say, “Replace your lawn with drought-resistant plants. Take shorter showers. Only do full loads of laundry. Get a rebate for a water-efficient toilet.” At some point, you wonder if we won’t change our behavior until our water bills skyrocket. The truth might be that most of us (myself included) are suffering from water conservation fatigue. Continue reading “Battling Water Conservation Fatigue” »

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Diamond Certified Experts: Crucial Aspects of Landscape Maintenance

Indoor home maintenance is crucial, but it’s also important to maintain your exterior property. Photo: Dana Lund Landscaping (2015)

Indoor home maintenance is crucial, but it’s also important to maintain your exterior property. Photo: Dana Lund Landscaping (2015)

While it’s smart to be proactive about indoor home maintenance, keeping up with your exterior property is equally important. We asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in on aspects of landscaping where maintenance matters most.

Seasonal garden preparation: Michael Moore of Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc.

To keep your garden looking its best all year long, swap out the previous season’s plants for current varietals. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2015)

To keep your garden looking its best all year long, swap out the previous season’s plants for current varietals. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2015)

A crucial part of garden maintenance is swapping out annual plant varieties in conjunction with the changing seasons, which can be done in a few simple steps. First, remove the outgoing annuals and prepare the bed for incoming plants by adding fertilizer and new soil to provide fresh nutrients. Next, install your plants. Remember to arrange them with the tallest in back and shortest in front to optimize sunlight exposure. When planting fall annuals, it’s also a good time to pre-plant spring bulbs like tulips, daffodils and crocus, as they take several months to germinate. Once all the plants are situated, give the entire bed a light soaking. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Crucial Aspects of Landscape Maintenance” »

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Spring Garden Maintenance

Everyone knows about “spring cleaning,” but not many people know that the term applies to gardens as well as houses. By taking a few preparatory measures, you can ensure your garden and its systems will be healthy and functioning properly all season long.

Take simple steps to prepare your garden for the spring. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2014)

Take simple steps to prepare your garden for the spring. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2014)

The first thing to do is inspect your irrigation systems. By the end of winter, your sprinkler and drip systems will have been inactive for several months, during which time debris may have accumulated in the apertures. Continue reading “Spring Garden Maintenance” »

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