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Saving Water

After four years in a drought, reservoirs and groundwater supplies are critically low. For the first time since last June California missed Governor Edmund G. Brown’s 25 percent water conservation mandate for the month of January. Farmers and Californians are hoping for El Nino- driven storms to produce the spring showers they need. As Californians we are urged not to relax our water saving habits and continue conserving by reducing or eliminating outdoor irrigation when it’s wet, and keeping household water use to the essentials. We have gathered some water saving tips you can include in your gardening regimen.

Plant drought resistant shrubs and plants:

Many plants thrive with less watering than other species. Plant native plants, they use less water and are more resistant to local plant diseases.

Put a layer of mulch around the plant:

Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth, adding 2-4 inches of organic material such as compost will increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture. Press the mulch down around the dripline of each plant to form a slight depression which will prevent or minimize water runoff.

Water your lawn only when it needs it.

A good way to determine if your lawn needs water is to step on the grass, if it springs back up when you move, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, the lawn is in for some water.

Deep soak your lawn

When watering the lawn, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems. Put an empty tuna can on your lawn- when it’s full, you’ve watered the right amount.

Mycorrhizal Fungi

Using mycorrhizal fungi in your garden will reduce the need for watering, and also increases your plants nutrient uptake, resulting in more vigorous plants. Mycorrhizae helps reduce plants watering needs by at least 25%.

By using water saving tips you can reduce in home water use by 35 %, this means the average household which uses 130,000 gallons per year could save 44,000 gallons of water a year. Therefore by following some of these helpful tips and adding some beneficial microbes to your garden you can begin to save water and get California back on track.

Learn more about mycorrhizal fungi @

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