The San Diego County Water Authority and 10 member agencies have teamed with The Home Depot again this fall to offer significant savings on water-efficient plants at San Diego County Garden Friendly Plant Fairs from Chula Vista to Oceanside. In addition, the Water Authority and member agencies are holding more than a dozen free California Friendly Landscape Training courses this fall to promote WaterSmart landscaping.
Outdoor water-use efficiency is a major regional and statewide goal after three dry years because more than half of the water used in a typical home is used outdoors. Mandatory water-use restrictions are in effect across San Diego County to save as much water as possible in case serious drought conditions continue into 2015. For more information about drought conditions, go to whenindrought.org.
The plant fairs start Sept. 27. During the events, specially marked containers of low-water-use plants such as lavender, bougainvillea, society garlic and rosemary will be discounted at select The Home Depot stores. Industry experts will attend the plant fairs to provide information about water-efficient irrigation supplies and how to select and grow low-water-use plants. The Home Depot certified nursery consultants will host how-to workshops, and local retail water agency staff will be on-hand with information about water conservation programs and services. In addition, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) representatives will be at the events to highlight programs, services and tools that help save energy and money.
Water Authority member agencies participating in plant fairs are Carlsbad Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, city of Oceanside, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, city of San Diego, San Dieguito Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District and Sweetwater Authority.
“Fall is a great time to switch landscapes to WaterSmart plants that thrive in our Mediterranean climate,” said Jeff Stephenson, a principal water resources specialist at the Water Authority. “It’s also the perfect time to take advantage of our free classes that will show you how to make successful water-saving changes to your yard.”
The Water Authority and its member agencies are partnering with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to offer the California Friendly Landscape Training courses, which introduce a holistic approach to landscape design and maintenance that emphasizes water-use efficiency.
The three-hour seminars are fast-paced and informative, and they offer solutions to common landscape problems. Class topics include how to make the best use of the region’s limited rainfall, irrigate efficiently and choose the best plants for each yard. In addition, they will learn how to design landscapes that are sustainable in the San Diego climate. Fall classes start Tuesday, Sept. 23. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
In addition, the Water Authority and MWD offer separate rebates for eligible projects that can be combined for up to $3.50 per square foot for residents and businesses who replace turf grass. Details about the WaterSmart Turf Replacement Program, the plant fairs and the landscaping classes are at WaterSmartSD.org.