Once early Spring clean-up of garden and flower beds is done, and the ground is unfrozen, preparing and planting landscapes can finally begin. It’s also the perfect time of year to create a water-wise landscape for efficient watering over the hot months of Summer ahead.
A water-wise landscape conserves water. Native plants require little to no watering, and will prevent wasteful water runoff. When native plants thrive, they also provide an important habitat for birds, butterflies, bees, and good insects, which is extremely beneficial to our environment.
The following are some basic Spring start up steps for preparing and planting a water-wise landscape that will thrive during hot days of Summer, while conserving precious water.
- Dig a foot deep with a shovel to check if the ground is unfrozen, then test the irrigation system to ensure it is running efficiently for the hot summer days ahead. Do not turn the system on if the ground is still frozen beneath the ground surface—any frozen water in the sprinkler lines would burst the pipes.
- Create Hydrozones by grouping low-water plants with similar irrigation requirements in the same area. It will conserve water, based on how often each specific group of plants needs to be watered. Knowing the watering requirements of each group of plants will allow efficient irrigation and prevent wasting precious water on plant groups that don’t need as much water to thrive.
- Avoid watering plants following Spring showers, or if rain is in the forecast; too much water can condition plants to “expect” excess water going into Summer.
- Adding mulch will sustain healthy soils that cycle nutrients, retain water, minimize evaporation, and prevent runoff.
Some top water-wise plants that thrive in hot, dry weather and attract pollinators are:
- Amethyst Sea Holly
- Moss Rose
- Gold Nugget Hens-and-Chicks
- Pineleaf Penstemon
- Red Creeping Thyme
- Color Guard Adam’s Needle
- Butterfly Weed
- Arizona Sun Blanket Flower
- Cascade Stonecrop
Springtime brings warmer weather, but can also bring sudden, torrential downpours. Today’s powerful, cloud-based Smart Irrigation will eliminate water waste by managing irrigation based on site-specific, real-time weather data from the ET Everywhere weather service.
Preparing a water-wise landscape in the Spring will not only provide for efficient watering during summer months to come, but provide an important habitat for local birds, pollinators, and good insects—and support our environment.