Water is a precious resource; conserving it is a key to Earth-friendly gardening. Gardeners play an important key role in supporting the living creatures in our watersheds as well as keeping our watersheds healthy and recharged. There are many techniques that allow gardeners to conserve considerable water. Water is so central to gardening that California state law mandates water conservation as the primary factor in plant selection and garden design.
Consider our climate, then design and plan accordingly. An important key to garden design is recognizing that Marin County sits in one of the world’s five Mediterranean climate zones. In the long dry season of summer and fall, our weather is warm or hot, with little rain. In the winter, Mediterranean climates are typically cool and wet with infrequent freezes.
Designing your garden with plants native to California and the other Mediterranean climates will help lower water needs, which will influence your irrigation design.
Consider drought. The question is not if Marin will experience drought conditions again, but when. Drought is a reality that cannot be ignored. Municipal water districts have irrigation guidelines and may impose restrictions during times of drought. It pays to be prepared.
Don't hesitate to ask for help if you get stumped. There are many DIY techniques to assist you in saving our precious water and waterways — and our wallets. But if these self-help tools aren’t working, don’t hesitate to reach out to an irrigation specialist to ensure you are doing the best you can to use water wisely.