Armstrong Garden Centers Shares Top Ten Important Water Saving Tips

Water-conscious gardening saves consumers money as mandatory state water restrictions arrive

Monday, July 21, 2014 | 11:46 pm

image003The drought in California is so severe that the state is implementing an emergency water conservation regulation and will fine those who waste it starting on Aug. 1, 2014. Now more than ever, it is critical for Californians to be mindful of water usage.

Research shows that Californians use up to 50% more water than they need to maintain healthy, beautiful gardens. In fact, Armstrong Garden Centers experts suggest that gardens and landscapes would actually be healthier if they were watered less, but more effectively.

“Californians don’t necessarily need to change their gardens drastically in order to save money and water during the drought,” said Eric Asakawa, Regional Manager of Armstrong Garden Centers. “Instead, homeowners can change the way they water.”

Armstrong Garden Centers suggests its top ten tips for saving water during the drought:

1. Water early in the morning. Making sure sprinklers stop running by 8:00 a.m. will reduce evaporation and lessen the likelihood of water waste caused by wind interference. Another perk – watering early reduces plant disease and water damage.

2. Mulch. Placing a 2 – 3” layer of organic mulch on the soil surface around plants can save hundreds of gallons of water every year.

3. Repair and adjust sprinklers. Fixing damaged sprinklers immediately and checking pipes for leaks can save as much as 500 gallons of water per year.

4. Water deeper, but less often. Most gardens in California on automatic sprinklers are overwatered. Homeowners should change sprinkler systems to water every other day or every third day, while increasing watering times by only 50-75 percent. Consult your local municipality for appropriate watering guidelines.

5. Change watering times with the seasons. Homeowners can save huge amounts of water by adjusting automatic systems at least three times a year, according to the season. During periods of rain, it is vital to turn automatic systems off.

6. Use trigger sprayers when hand watering. Trigger sprayers help ensure that water is not wasted while watering gardens.

7. Minimize water loss in plants. Use water-retentive potting soils in all container gardens.

8. Add compost to soil. Adding store-bought or homemade compost to planting beds and pots will decrease the amount of water needed.

9. Use organic fertilizers. These fertilizers slowly release nutrients into the soil at a natural rate that matches a plant’s needs, so plants need less water when fed organically.

10. Install a smart sprinkler controller. The latest technology dramatically reduces water use and water bills. Wireless “smart controllers” activate automatic sprinklers via computer-based weather data and information about specifics of gardens. These “smart controllers” can save over 40 gallons of water each watering day.

For more information on saving water or to find Armstrong Garden Centers landscaping experts throughout California, visit

About Armstrong Garden Centers

Armstrong Garden Centers is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Since 1889, this employee-owned company has been taking the guesswork out of gardening. It is now the largest California independent retail nursery with 31 locations in California and three growing facilities. For more information on Armstrong Garden Centers and great gardening tips, please visit and

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