2012-05-17 / Columns

Sharing landscaping secrets for saving water

By Montgomery Knox
Special to the Acorn

There are many simple solutions that will help your landscape thrive while saving you time and money. The following are four little-known secrets.

The first involves a check valve, which is an irrigation component that easily attaches to any spray head. It prevents water from draining out after the irrigation valve shuts off. Did you know that installing check valves will reduce your water consumption by about 20 to 25 percent? A check valve can save you 10 gallons of water per irrigation system, and the average home has six to nine systems.

The second secret will help your lawn thrive. Did you know that infectious grasses could be transmitted from other lawns to your lawn (often by shared lawn mowers used by your gardener)? If you see brown patches growing in size in your lawn, it may not be due to lack of water. These can be infectious grasses, which turn brown in winter months. Using your own personal lawn mower prevents the spreading of these grasses.

Tired of replacing plants and flowers that look great for six months and them become overgrown and lose all color? The third secret is to try planting with drought-resistant perennials such as ornamental grasses, aloes, agaves and succulents, among many options. These smart choices save in both water and plant replacement costs.

The last secret is bark. Overlaying your planter areas with shredded bark has three benefits: (1) Bark will give you one additional day per week of not watering; water is held in by the bark, preventing evaporation. (2) Decomposition of bark is an organic way to feed your plants, saving on fertilizer costs. (3) Bark prevents weeds and has a better appearance than hardened dirt, enhancing the look of your landscape.

For additional tips or help with landscape or maintenance needs, call Malibu Coast Nursery and Landscape at (818) 865-8887 or visit 6171 Latigo Canyon Road, Malibu.

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