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Saving water in your backyard

NORTH COUNTY — Water districts everywhere are increasing rates as the drought conditions continue. To keep your budget in line, Cesar Hernandez of Cesar’s Exterior Designs, has offered some information on conserving water use while keeping your yard looking its best.
His first suggestion is to install rotator sprinklers. Rotator sprinklers are a water conservation tool that provide water to a garden area more slowly, allowing water to be absorbed into the ground. Installations are easy to do, but a professional can help you determine the best placement. Also, adjusting your sprinkler system for pressure and range is an often-overlooked part of the installation process.
Consider native plants for landscape. A lush, tropical landscape is water burden for the natural dry arid region we live in. Water-wise landscaping, also called xeriscaping, meaning “dry gardening,” encourages the use of native and acclimatized plants combined with a series of water-saving planting and maintenance techniques. For your landscape, consider California Redbud, Cleveland Sage, Ceanothus ‘Concha,’ Chalk Dudleya, Island Alum Root and Western Sycamore.
Bring your indoors outside. San Diego climate makes entertaining or enjoying the outdoors a year-round option. Why not use space otherwise watered and taken over by plants to create a little part of your own living room, outside? Consider creating an inviting patio with a captivating fire pit or a gazebo with a bar and kitchen area. If you already have a concrete area available, don’t think it has to be plain or unattractive. You’ll want to use a licensed professional, though, when considering the design and install of a custom outdoor area.
If you have to have a lawn, consider synthetic. Maintaining a flawless lawn in San Diego takes immense water, care, and patience. Though synthetic turfs are pricey, the long-term water bill savings is significant.
Upgrade to a smart irrigation timer. This smart buy can save you on average of about 40 or 50 gallons a day.
Turn off unneeded sprinklers. Cesar is always surprised at homes where he finds sprinklers watering dirt or plants that simply don’t need so much water. As plantings and landscape become established or changed, some sprinklers may no longer be needed. Shut off nozzles and install “blanks” or remove and cap sprinklers.
For more information on Cesar’s Exterior Designs, visit