7 Tips for Water-Wise Landscaping

1. Plan.
-Map out areas of your yard based on characteristics such as sun exposure, moisture level and soil characteristics.
-Group plants with similar water needs together in compatible zones.

2. Improve the soil.
-Good soil absorbs and holds moisture better and encourages deeper roots.

3. Be practical with turf.
-Reduce dependence on turf. Grass generally requires a lot of water as well as fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides that often end up in our waterways.
-Choose a water-conserving, warm-season turf grass such as centipede, zoysia or Bermuda (the most drought-tolerant but will brown-out in winter, so use other plants to enhance the appearance of your landscape year-round).

4. Irrigate efficiently.
-Know how much water your plants require, and match your irrigation system to these needs to avoid waste.
-Use a rain gauge to account for rainfall and avoid overwatering.

5. Mulch (the sunblock for plant roots).
-2 to 4 inches retains moisture, slows evaporation, protects roots from overheating and reduces or eliminates weeds.

6. Choose low water-use plants.
-Look especially for native plants, which consider Coastal Virginia to be an ideal growing climate

7. Maintain appropriately.
-Follow pruning and mowing guidelines.

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