Guest Blog: How to Adhere to Laws (And Keep Up Your Yard) During Drought

August 27, 2014

It’s no secret – there is a drought and water restrictions are in place for most of California. The restrictions vary from limiting days or times of day watering can occur. Regulations vary between each municipality as well as for commercial and residential properties.

The restrictions have caused concerns about asset management and protection for both segments of the market. Property managers need their portfolio to look it’s best to attract revenue. Homeowners’ and HOA Boards need their properties to remain in good shape to protect resale.

Here are some simple tips to help you adhere to the regulations and still protect your assets.

  1. Remember that the restrictions are not arbitrary. They are restrictive but still allow enough flexibility to make certain all landscapes are protected, preserved and allowed to thrive.
  2. Immediately call your maintenance provider and schedule their California irrigation technician to do a visual inspection, cleaning and tune up of your systems. This will eliminate all waste as well as bring you in to compliance. In the event of an issue with your local water authority, your documentation that a State Licensed Contractor is managing the property systems or did any necessary repairs will help you avoid the substantial fines being levied.
  3. Having your irrigation systems operating correctly will keep your landscape alive, even with the current restrictions. Actively get information from your contractor about low flow – high efficiency subterranean drip conversion costs and consider having the upgrades done to your current system. When installed properly, these systems are not only exempt from restrictions but are also eligible for rebates in many water districts.
  4. Turf care – Yes, cutting the lawn at those low settings makes it look beautiful. Unless you are a golf course using Bermuda Tiff Turf, it is also the incorrect and damaging way to maintain your investments. Make certain has their staff raise the deck to a minimum of 3” tall post cut. The majority of grasses we install in California are engineered to thrive at that height and will use less water, choke out more weeds and stay green longer and more easily.
  5. For homeowners who want to do it themselves: Cut tall, cut every week, water per code and pay attention to the feeding needs of your turf. It will need regular food to thrive during the restrictions.
  6. Avoid overhead watering whenever possible – those sprayers in the planter beds are wasting a minimum of 50% of the water they are spraying to drift, overspray and evaporation. Remember that most of the shrub spray heads put out at least 1.5 gallons per minute. 5 heads in a planter bed is equal to putting out at least 60 gallons each and every time the system runs in that bed. Consider instead hose watering the roots of the shrubs, flowers and trees once a week and then reducing your irrigation systems down to no more than 2 days a week. The plants will actually do better for you as well as reduce your usage substantially.

The drought is serious and the water restrictions reflect the severity. Become diligent and your landscape will thrive, not die off and kill a part of your property values.

 This Guest Blog courtesy of Pink Flamingo Landscaping.