How to garden in a drought

California is in a drought and that means we need to be careful with every drop of water that we use, particularly outdoors. Here’s a guide to help your landscape survive the drought.


Get Efficient.

  • Introduce drip irrigation.
  • Invest in a smart controller.
  • Water less frequently, but longer and close to plant roots.
  • Redirect downspouts to capture rainwater and direct it to garden areas.

Prioritize Your Landscape.

Vegetables & Fruits Get Priority

They help feed your family.

Water-Wise Plants & Shade Trees

Water-wise plants use little or no water once established. Shade trees help keep plants cool and less thirsty.

Thirsty Plants - Lawn, High Water Use & Container Plants

These plants are the lowest on the priority list. If you have to cut back, start here.


Use Mulch.

There are many benefits to using mulch in your landscape.

Retains Moisture

Less watering is needed and you will grow healthier plants.

Moderates Temperature

Cools soil in the summer and warms soil in the winter.

Decomposes Nutrients

Enriches soil and improves soil quality.

Discourages Weeds

Keeps weeds away and reduces maintenance.


Can I Plant?

Check with your local water agency and if you can water at least two times a week, you can plant water-wise plants and shade trees. This is not the time to install new lawn or thirsty, non-California friendly plants.


Recycle Indoor Water Outdoors!

Recycle water you use indoors by capturing what otherwise might go down the drain. Use this water on plants.

- put a bucket in your shower.

- use cooled cooking water.

- wash your fruits & veggies over a bucket.

- keep a pitcher next to the sink and empty water glasses into it.


For more tips on reducing water use, visit saveourH2O.org!