Once again this fall, the San Diego County Water Authority and 11 member agencies have partnered with The Home Depot to offer significant savings on water-efficient plants at San Diego County Garden Friendly Plant Fairs from Chula Vista to Oceanside starting Sept. 26. In addition, the Water Authority and member agencies are holding several free workshops around the region that teach homeowners the basics of WaterSmart landscape makeovers.
Regional water conservation during the current record-setting drought is mainly being achieved by reducing landscape irrigation. Over the summer months, water use across the region declined 27 percent compared to June, July and August 2013 (the state’s baseline year). For more information about drought conditions and regulations, go to whenindrought.org.
WaterSmart plants coupled with efficient irrigation systems are key parts of the long-term strategy for continuing to have attractive landscapes across the region while using significantly less water. And fall is a smart time to replace high-water-use plants with low-water-use plants, especially after the ground has been moistened by rainfall.
During the plant fairs, marked containers of water-wise plants such as lavender, bougainvillea, geranium and rosemary will be discounted at select The Home Depot stores from 8 a.m. to noon. Industry experts will attend the plant fairs to provide information about water-efficient irrigation supplies and how to select and grow low-water-use plants. The Home Depot certified nursery consultants will host how-to workshops, and local retail water agency staff will be on-hand with information about water conservation programs and services.
Water Authority member agencies sponsoring the fall plant fairs are Carlsbad Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, City of Oceanside, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, City of Poway, City of San Diego, San Dieguito Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District and Sweetwater Authority.
“These plant fairs offer a timely opportunity to save money and do the right thing,” said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “This fall is also a great time to take advantage of free landscaping classes that will help you upgrade your yard without compromising beauty or function.”
This fall is the debut of the Water Authority’s three-hour WaterSmart Landscape Design for Homeowners Workshops, based on the comprehensive and award-winning WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series. Each three-hour workshop covers the critical components for converting high-water-use turf areas to beautiful WaterSmart landscapes – soil, planning and design, turf removal, plant selection, irrigation and implementation. The sessions are relevant to homeowners who plan to do the work themselves and those who plan to hire a contractor.
Six workshops are scheduled countywide through mid-November. Details about plant fairs, landscaping workshops and other water conservation resources are at WaterSmartSD.org.