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Drought & Water Wise Gardening


water wise

Saturday, May 2, 2020 - WATER-WISE PLANT GIVE & TAKE

from 8 a.m. to noon at Fresno State Horticulture Greenhouse Park, 3150 E Barstow

  • Free plants or other items from local organization in booths
  • Master Gardeners are ready to answer your questions
  • Irrigation & Controller information
  • Garden Expert Workshops
  • School Student Experiments and Projects
  • Free Kids Mother’s Day craft
  • Plus a super plant sale in the Fresno State Nursery

Questions? Email: waterconservation@fresno.gov, or call 621-5480.

Note: Some guests bring a cart or wagon to carry their plants to their car.

 City of Fresno Water Conservation




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I recently went to a convention near Disney World in Florida and observed the amazing gardens there. I do not believe I have every seen more beautiful commercial gardens. There are over 7000 acres of development at Disney World and the majority of those acres are beautifully manicured gardens.

The climate in Orlando is obviously different than California and there were several rainstorms during my time at the convention. Yet, it was clear that

the garden staff managing the gardens knew about water wise gardening techniques. Almost all of the flower beds were mulched deeply with organic materials. There are many pine trees in Florida and most of the mulch I saw contained pine needles. But other commercial mulches appeared also to be used.In addition, the turf at Disney World is mowed high. The majority of turf is St. Augustine grass and it is mowed to no less than three inches. I noticed very little weed activity in the flower beds or turf. I believe this is because of the deep mulch and high mowing height.

Surprisingly, I noticed very little drip irrigation. The most common method of irrigation is pop-up sprayers with standard spray heads.. Disney world uses pop-up sprayers by several manufacturers. There were very few areas with microsprayers(MP Rotators).

The staff at Disney appears to be saving water through biology and not irrigation technology. Mulch and mowing high effects soil health. Healthy soil uses water more efficiently.

So if you want your garden to look like the gardens at Disney World: Mulch and Mow High.

I went to the new Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios! There I encountered Darth Vader. I will leave you with this final thought:

Don’t be tempted by the power of the dark side of the Force.



The Water Wise Gardener

Drought tolerant gardening allows you to have a beautiful landscape using significantly less water. The best time to plant a drought tolerant landscape is in the fall giving the plants the winter to help the roots  establish themselves. Summer is a great time to plan for your water-wise garden. The resources listed below can help you plan, plant and maintain your drought tolerant garden.

drought tolerant plants

The following resources are provided courtesy of the Department of Public Utilities, City of Fresno, Water Division

Creating a Fresno Friendly Garden - Plant Choices & Water Conservation Tips For Our Climate

Water-wise Gardening Fresno Region

Water-wise Gardening Fresno Region - Spanish

Water-wise Gardening Fresno Region - Hmong

Creating Green Grass Alternatives

Drip Irrigation - A Guide to Installation and Maintenance

Creating a Water-wise Landscape - 7 Steps to Follow For Our Climate

Water Conservation Landscape Ideas - Planter Strips and Median Islands