Water Wise Training from Master Gardeners

IMG_3515no grassA few months back while attending a Master Gardener class on Hydrangeas, I learned that I could have one of their trained teams come to my  garden to teach us how to be more water efficient by replacing our lawn with drought tolerant plants. Last week I got a call and Saturday morning Wink and Mary Lou came and educated us!

My first tidbit of advice if you decide to call the Master Gardeners is to check your garage for accessibility.  We didn’t want them to trip on their way to inspect our sprinkler controls so hubby had to do a quick clean of our family garage collection!IMG_3522

Their knowledge was amazing. Mary Lou whipped out her tool box and out came every imaginable water wise sprinkler part along with a wealth of info on how to install and use them.IMG_3524

Our controller was pronounced, with a gentle smile, rather outdated…IMG_3563

But, how excited I was to learn that not only are better, newer models available that include a wireless sensor that will automatically shut off our system if it rains…I can also get reimbursed by the City!IMG_3557

Our front yard lawn covers  441 square feet. The city recently decided to offer a $1.00 per foot reimbursement up to 500 sq. ft.  for replacing your water thirsty grass with drought tolerant plants. Gee, let’s see…I save money on water AND the City helps pay for the new plants…win/win I’d say! All the information you need is here.

The team checked our sprinkler heads and discussed how to change them to drip lines. They checked our water meter to see if we had any leaks (thankfully we didn’t!).IMG_3562

They gave us brochures filled with drought tolerant plants for both sun and shade along with lots of ideas for how to access photos on the web to help us select plants.IMG_3560

Though their purpose is not to do a design for you, they came equipped with a drawing of our yard and Wink was a wealth of knowledge on drought tolerant plants for sun and shade and very generous with help on the design I had in mind. Their ideas changed my design and saved me money and work!

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In order to bring our new design to reality, after explaining how to change the irrigation,they taught us step by step how to dig a strip 10″ from the sidewalk all around our lawn, lay down big pieces of cardboard and cover it with compost, water well and wait a few months. After that we should be ready to dig right into the soil under the compost and plant the new yard! (Costco or home appliance stores are your best bet for scavenging cardboard)!

So, if you are ready to take out the lawn, save water in the drought and lower your water bill forever, call the Master Gardeners for help today! They will go down their check list making certain you know all you need to replace a thirsty lawn with a new water wise landscape!IMG_3561

To find out more about water wise gardening from the Master Gardener program look here.

To schedule an appointment to meet with a team to discuss how you can save water in your own garden go here.

*Be sure to read all the City material on the “Green Exchange” carefully.  You must have a pre and post inspection, save all receipts, agree to never again install grass in that area as long as you own the home, live in the City and be on City water and have the job done in 120 days. The Master Gardeners will give you a complete packet of information so you’ll know how to proceed.

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