Water Conservation

Plants need water to survive, but you can still conserve water in the garden with careful planning and landscape design. We'll explore rain barrels and efficient irrigation on this page.


Mulch is good stuff (especially in our hot, humid climate). The best thing about mulch is that it increases the water holding capacity of the soil. Here are a few benefits of mulch:Rain Garden

  • Conserves water
  • Maintains soil temperature
  • Reduces weed germination
  • Controls soil erosion

Mulch Preference

Common mulch types are: hardwood, pine, cypress, cedar, and eucalyptus. You can also buy mulch that has been dyed red, black, or brown. Whatever your mulch preference, do not exceed three inches in planting beds and around trees. Anything in excess of three inches may decrease water penetration and oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange.

Rain Barrels

Rain barrels catch water that usually runs off the roof during a storm. They're easy to make/purchase and install. Water harvested from rain barrels can be re-used to water plants, wash cars, etc. Check out this video on how to make your own rain barrel. Also, learn about the City's Rain Barrel Program, where you can purchase a discounted rain barrel, and receive a water utility credit.

Can You Drink Rain Water?

Read the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) May 2011 newsletter.