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Michael Polikoff, PLA, ASLA
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How can I reduce water use in my garden? This is one of the most common and important questions that my clients ask me as a Landscape Architect. I find that our Albuquerque residential population has become increasingly knowledgeable about our arid climate and has learned to adapt. Unfortunately, many residential homeowners have chosen to virtually go without when it comes to their home garden environment. It makes sense to limit the quantity of thirsty plants in a landscape, but there is no need to settle for just boring gravel, a few rocks and a few plants! Learn how you can enjoy a wide variety of low maintenance water conserving trees and plants that will dazzle your senses, provide a shady refuge, and add real value to your home.
Water is a precious resource in our Albuquerque desert climate. As conscious water consumers, we desire to make sure we are using it efficiently inside and outside our homes. Homeowners can efficiently utilize low water flow toilets, low flow shower heads, and forgo washing the car in the driveway, but oftentimes don’t realize that a few simple conserving steps can allow for a garden oasis! Landscape Architects have been professionally trained and licensed to provide a wide variety of water saving practices and technology to your garden.
First, it is essential to have your existing irrigation assessed as to efficient water use. An evaluation of your system can optimize the program on the controller and time required for the various planting areas in your garden. Smart technology controllers and water sensors are available now that work with existing controllers to make adjustments in the watering schedule to accommodate our monsoon rains and dry spells. Smart controllers can reduce your water use by as much as 30%. For more information on these water saving devices contact www.epa.gov/watersense/products/contoltech.html . Next, make sure your system is free of leaks and broken or clogged emitters or lawn heads. Adequate water coverage is important for proper tree root growth and lawn health. Your qualified Landscape Architect will be able to maximize a smart design in your high use areas allowing for more trees, plants, and accent features such as a rose or grape arbor, decking, seating and even a small water feature.