As spring weather ushers in, City residents are likely becoming eager to get outside and do some yard work. But did you know that outdoor watering accounts for approximately 40 percent of Santa Fe’s total water use?
If you have a well-established xeriscape, remember to go easy on the watering. Oftentimes utility customers are unintentionally and unknowingly over-watering their landscapes, even if you have a drip irrigation system installed. Drip irrigation is designed to conserve by applying small amounts of water to plants. Yet it’s still possible to over-water if your system is scheduled to water for long time periods and/or more often than is necessary.
Everyone wants to see their plants thrive, but remember: xeric plant species are drought-tolerant and well-adapted to Santa Fe’s high desert conditions, so adjust your irrigation systems accordingly. Also, be sure to amend the soil properly and apply mulch, both of which play a vital role in retaining soil moisture.
If you’re just starting out with your landscape and wondering where to begin, the Santa Fe Water Conservation Office recommends that you consult with a QWEL-certified landscaper because they are trained in water-efficient practices specific to this area. Some other area resources to get you started include Santa Fe County Cooperative Extension Office, NMSU’s Southwest Plant Selector app, and Plants of the Southwest, all of which can help you choose appropriate native or low water use plant species.
To learn more about proper drip irrigation settings and the best outdoor watering practices, contact a Water Conservation Specialist at 505-955-4225.