A fall foundation for a spring garden

The dry, crunchy leaves of autumn and soon-to-be barren branches and twigs of winter hint at a break from garden work. But a little bit of effort now can save you time, maintenance and money for years to come, by establishing a water-wise garden.

With the help of the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s landscape rebate program, you can take advantage of the milder temperatures of fall to cultivate your water-wise garden. Get $100 for every 100 square feet of lawn replaced with water-wise plant species, for a maximum of $2,000.

New gardens planted during this season require less watering than if planted in the warmer months of spring or summer. The cooler temperatures allow plants to establish a healthy root system before the frosty temperatures of winter. Another bonus is the extra boost in irrigation you’ll get by planting right before the rainy season. Once established, usually after the first year, most water-wise plants survive with natural rainfall and no additional irrigation. You can read more about prepping and planting California natives here. And check out or water-wise archives on Valley Water News for some featured shrubs and flowers.

For additional resources in planning for your water-wise garden, visit the South Bay Green Gardens website.  This handy resource is a great guide on sustainable gardening with a number of helpful tools for planting, garden maintenance, fertilizing and more, including water-wise garden templates. For the district’s landscape rebate program, be sure to schedule a pre-inspection and have your application approved before starting any work on your water-wise project. You can get started with the process online today!

The water district also has a new series of quick tip conservation videos to help you care for your garden or yard and continue saving water, money and time. See below for the latest videos and follow us on Youtube for more content and updates from the water district.


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