Plants growing in soil

California Water Conservation Tips To Prepare For The Year Ahead

Wildlife and water conservation tips are always beneficial for both the earth and our water bills, but this year they are especially important here in California! The Sierra snowpack is only filled to about 60% of its typical average, a statistic that doesn’t bode well for California’s water supply for the rest of the year. But don’t let that worry you—if you act now, you can get a jump on some practical ways to save water and help our local wildlife. That way, you can help keep your garden and all its inhabitants hydrated and healthy!

Get Ready, California! These Water Conservation Tips Will Keep You and Your Garden Hydrated in 2021

From creative approaches to collecting water, to more efficient watering methods, and becoming more mindful of the way we interact with our local wildlife, gardeners can find so many ways to protect wildlife populations and conserve water at home. Here are a few tried-and-true wildlife and water conservation tips that are worth putting into practice every year—not just before a predicted drought!

hose dripping on plant drip irrigation summerwinds california

Wildlife & Water Conservation Tip #1: Try Drip Irrigation

Not only does drip irrigation conserve water, but it saves you so much time and effort in the garden! There are a lot of ways to do it—you can purchase systems that are ready to install, or if you’re a crafty type, there are plenty of DIY tutorials online. 

For large California gardens, we recommend snaking a soaker hose through your plants. The hose is full of tiny holes, which release a slow drip of water over time. This keeps your plants watered without oversaturating the soil, and you can pretty much set it and forget it!

Wildlife & Water Conservation Tip #2: Reduce Your Light Pollution

Light pollution has been causing insect populations to dwindle. This causes a ripple effect, because our pollinators don’t have as much food, and then our gardens and plant life suffer too. Turn patio lights off at night, keep your windows shaded in the evening, and if you own a business, turn your lights and lit signage off at night.

coneflowers wildflowers in native plant garden summerwinds california

Wildlife & Water Conservation Tip #3: Plant Native

If you’re looking to add some new plants to your garden, or if this is the first time you’ve ever started one, stick to planting native plants! Anything that’s naturally adapted to live in the wild in California will require way less water. Those exotic tropical imports are certainly tempting, but they require a lot more water and general upkeep. California natives are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, super beautiful, and our local pollinators love them the most. Big wins all around!

Wildlife & Water Conservation Tip #4: Ditch the Lawn, Plant a Meadow

So, those amazing native plants we just mentioned? They don’t need to just stay in the garden. Spread those wildflower seeds across your property, and you’ll end up making a huge advance in water conservation! Your lawn will look less manicured, but it will still be incredibly beautiful, and the soil will hold onto moisture for much longer than a grass lawn. And of course, the local pollinators will be glad to see some more of their favorite plants in the area.

watering plants with soaker hose summerwinds california

Wildlife & Water Conservation Tip #5: Water Deeply, Less Frequently

If you’re watering the old-fashioned way with your regular garden hose, this is the most valuable water conservation tip you’ll ever receive! If you water a little bit every day, that water is just going to hover around the surface level and get instantly evaporated by the sun. It’ll waste water, and it won’t even hydrate your plants properly!

If you water less often but make sure to really give your garden a good soak, that water reserve will last much longer. Make sure your garden soil has good drainage to avoid waterlogged soil, which causes root rot. Mixing in plenty of compost at the start of the season will help maintain ideal water retention.

washing fruit in sink with bucket collecting water summerwinds california

Wildlife & Water Conservation Tip # 6: Always Keep A Jug By The Sink

Container gardens and houseplants need more water in the summer, so to make sure you always have a full jug ready, keep one by the sink. Whenever you need hot water and have to wait for the temperature to increase, put the jug under the faucet, so you don’t waste that water.

Rinsing vegetables in the colander? Put the jug underneath the colander to catch all that liquid gold pouring through! Let it sit out on the counter—it’s actually better for your plants if you leave tap water out to sit for a day or two before watering. It allows chemical additives and minerals to evaporate so that they won’t build up in the soil over time.

Thinking critically about conservation is more important than ever. Making responsible choices can provide some major benefits to you and the environment in 2021! For irrigation equipment or other tools to help you with water conservation in California, visit one of our SummerWinds locations. A little investment now will save you tons of water, and money spent on utility bills later!