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Drought and Water-Wise Gardening

Gardening and Irrigation

Drought: Gardening Tips
UC Master Gardener techniques and practices for edible gardens, lawn care, plant care, ornamental trees, and fruit and nut trees. Includes links to other resources at the bottom of the page.

Drought: Irrigation Tips
UC Master Gardener information on irrigation adjustment, lawn watering and the use of recycled water. Includes links to other resources at the bottom of the page.

Water-Wise Gardening
This Sonoma County Master Gardeners’ site includes strategies for removing and replacing lawns, smart irrigation and drip irrigation, and water-wise garden design and plant selection.

Water-Wise Gardening Chico
California Water Service Company’s comprehensive interactive guide of water-wise principles. Includes photo galleries of gardens and plants, lists of recommended plants along with plant descriptions and information on care, and a sample watering guide designed for Chico.

Save Our Water Organization
Sprinklers 101 from the Association of California Water Agencies covers water-wise landscaping basics, drip irrigation, installing a new irrigation system, improving an existing system, and reference manuals.

Gardening with Limited Water
The Master Gardeners of Sacramento has a list of tips and resources to help you save water in the home landscape including how to keep various plantings alive under drought conditions or water restrictions. 

Get Growing with Farmer Fred 
Sacramento Lifetime Master Gardener Fred Hoffman is the host of the KFBK Garden Show, "Get Growing" and the KSTE Farm Hour. Podcasts of his shows are posted along with a wealth of information specific to Northern California including a section on drought and your garden.  

Veggie Gardener
Check out this list of 12 Common Drought Tolerant Vegetables to grow in your vegetable garden.

Water-Saving Vegetable Garden in a Time of Drought 
The Treehugger site covers soil, how to plant to save water, the Three Sisters Garden companion planting method, when plants need water and choosing the right vegetables for drought tolerance.

A Sonoma Garden
Provides tips for a drought-friendly vegetable garden.


Water-wise Plants and Landscaping

Butte County All-Star Plants
A collection of landscaping plants that are easy to grow; well suited to our climate and soils; low-maintenance, especially in terms of fertilization and pruning; drought tolerant; able to support beneficial wildlife; and readily available to home gardeners. Section includes a copy of the brochure with planting instructions, plant photos, and an excel spreadsheet to aid in planning.

Climate Appropriate Plant List for Northern California
Compiled by Butte County Master Gardeners and organized by plant type, this document contains information about plant size, bloom time, drought tolerance, sun requirements and wildlife attracted.

Water-wise Gardening in the Gold Country Region 
Regional Water Authority’s guide contains a plant list, garden tours and galleries for ideas, information and garden design and irrigation

UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars and Database
The horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum have identified 100 tough, reliable plants that have been tested in the Arboretum, are easy to grow, don’t need a lot of water, have few problems with pests or diseases, and have outstanding qualities in the garden. The site also has a handy plant search function.

California Native Plant Database
Created by Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, the database contains information and photos about California Natives. There's also a Plant Guides for Garden Needs section with seasonal planting guides, special garden conditions, plants to attract wildlife, plants for containers, fragrant plants, and plants for special geographic areas.

Sunset Flowers and Plants
Sunset Magazine’s site covers many topics including drought tolerant plants and grasses.

Chico area plant list
A list of drought tolerant plants for public right-of-way, parks and other public facilities provided by the City of Chico Park Department.

Color Your Yard 
Although this site is for professional landscaping, the before and after photos in this section can help gardeners see the possibilities when creating a low-water landscape.

Drought tolerant plant for Northern California
This photo gallery of 537 drought tolerant plants provided by the website "houzz" also includes a section on plant combinations.

How to Design a Drought-Tolerant Garden
Information from eHow to help design a drought-tolerant garden, including flowers that need little water, and Free Online Landscaping Design Programs.

Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS)
Conserve water by matching water supply to plant needs, and by planting similar water and sun needs together. WUCOLS IV provides evaluations of the irrigation water needs for over 3,500 taxa (taxonomic plant groups) used in California landscapes.

If you're looking for California Natives to use in your landscape, check the Calflora database to help narrow your options.


Water-Wise Living

Cal Water Service Company
Conservation tips for homes, yards, gardens, apartment building and schools.

Paradise Irrigation District
101 ways to save water. List of ways to save water inside and outside the house.

California Drought Watch
Visitors can read about the latest drought news and get tips for practicing and embracing sustainable living.

Be Water Wise
Information about the watering index, and tools to help water efficiently. Also, includes a gardening section.


Articles from The Real Dirt

Tips for a Drought-Tolerant Garden

Water Conservation for the Home Gardener

Smart Watering and Irrigation

Reading Your Water Meter

Keeping Plants Alive (pdf)

Lawn Removal

Lawn Removal: Do It Right

Lawn Removal Advice


Drought Lovers: Three Euphorbias

Summer Blooming Natives

Fall-Blooming Natives

Winter-Blooming Native Plants

Native Plants for Shade

Gardening with California Natives

Planting Natives from Pots

Irrigating and Maintaining Native Plants