Save Water and Your Garden and Landscape

PUBLISHED IN THE RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL

One of my goals as a gardener is balance. I strive to balance my dream garden and the one I have time to plant and maintain. I seek harmony between what is beautiful in the landscape and what is functional there. I think every gardener shares the quest for balance. For example, a friend of mine holds a yearly argument with herself pitting her desire to grow every single variety of heirloom tomato versus her family’s capacity for tomato consumption. Nevada’s drought provides area gardeners with another balancing act to consider: the equilibrium between beautifying, enjoying and cooling our urban environment and responsible water use.

A thought that runs through my mind as I walk the water-wise tightrope is this: enriching our city with gardens and landscapes to improve quality of life is not an irresponsible use of water. What is irresponsible is excessively or improperly irrigating them. Responsible water use is achieved through proper water management, and that can be attained without changing a single plant. Extreme makeovers are not needed; it is possible to save water and your garden and landscape. To learn how, contact Cooperative Extension.

Enriching our city with gardens and landscapes to improve quality of life is not an irresponsible use of water. Photo by Ashley Andrews.
Enriching our city with gardens and landscapes to improve quality of life is not an irresponsible use of water. Photo by Ashley Andrews.

We can help you discover how much water your plants need, the most efficient delivery method for that moisture and the proper schedule on which to irrigate. Our Master Gardener Volunteers are available for consultations Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 4955 Energy Way in Reno. Stop by, call 775-336-0265, send an email to mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu or visit our website, www.livingwithdrought.com.

We also offer educational events to foster proper water management. This fall, our Grow Your Own, Nevada! series has been crafted to help you navigate Nevada’s drought. Classes, held 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, include:

  • 1: Growing Fruit Trees and Edible Landscapes
  • 3: Lawn Alternatives to Protect Your Trees
  • 8: Save Water and Your Landscape
  • 10: IPM Techniques for New Beekeepers
  • 15: Aquaponics
  • 17: Improving Your Soil
  • 22: Garden Clean-Up for Pest Prevention
  • 24: Composting Kitchen and Garden Waste

Course instructors feature Horticulture Specialist Heidi Kratsch, author of Water-Efficient Landscaping in the Intermountain West, along with Horticulturist and Certified Arborist Wendy Hanson Mazet, Urban Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Safety Program Coordinator Melody Hefner, and Integrated Pest Management Extension Educator Joy Paterson. Classes will be held live at our Reno office and via interactive video to our offices in Carson City, Elko, Gardnerville, Hawthorne, Lovelock, Tonopah, Winnemucca and Yerington. Class fees vary by location. For more information or to register, visit www.growyourownnevada.com.

For Reno attendees, fees are $15 per class or $60 for all eight classes. A promotional code is available to waive class fees for Washoe County K-12 teachers attending in Reno. Simply email a copy of your school ID to andrewsa@unce.unr.edu to receive it. Another perk for Reno attendees is an opportunity to receive a free book. Students in the September 3 (Lawn Alternatives to Protect Your Trees) OR September 8 (Save Water and Your Landscape) classes in Reno will receive a copy of Water-Efficient Landscaping in the Intermountain West.

Ashley Andrews is the Horticulture Assistant with Cooperative Extension.

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