When Mother Nature dazzles us with her brilliant display of fall colors, she offers us key reminders of changing seasons. Here are some bookmarks to flag to keep you in tune with the natural water cycle:
September 1 - Going au naturel
Start your garden plan
By now, your summer garden has yielded all that it will, your trees and shrubs have outlasted the hottest months and your mulched ground is ready for new life. It’s time to start planning your Mediterranean garden!
EBMUD has partnered with nurseries throughout the East Bay to make it easy for you to identify plants that thrive in the East Bay’s winter-wet/summer-dry climate, plants that require little to no water and plants that are resilient to disease and pests. Look for a WaterSmart plant tag when deciding the new look and feel of your now gone lawn.
September 23 - First day of fall
Dial down your watering
Drought or not, the sun crosses the celestial equator for the second time this year.
Temperatures drop and days are shorter than nights. Your plants, trees and shrubs, whose water needs are influenced more by the number of hours they are exposed to sunlight rather than temperatures outside, will need even less water than the already conservative amount you have been giving them. Taper-down your outdoor watering from twice to once a week.
October 1 - First day of water year
Watch the weather
It may not appear on your store-bought calendar, but this date marks the start of the EBMUD water year. The fall and winter seasons are when we look to the skies to replenish our reservoirs for the coming year.
By keeping track of how much precipitation we get, you will be better informed about how much water your garden needs. Tired of guessing? Smart controllers do the work for you by matching watering times to real-time weather information.
Sign up for an irrigation upgrade rebate, install a smart controller, and get a rebate from EBMUD. Visit ebmud.com/rebates.
November 1 - Daylight saving
Recharge your supply
While rain in the East Bay helps to fill our local reservoirs, what we really need is significant snowpack for a spring melt to fill our main Pardee and Camanche reservoirs at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Remember: don’t water your landscape for at least two days after any significant rainfall!
Once winter rains (hopefully) arrive, it will be time to stop outdoor watering and focus on fixing indoor leaks and using no more than 35 gallons per person per day indoors. And don’t forget that when you turn back your clock for daylight saving time it is also the perfect opportunity to swap out your emergency water storage for a fresh supply.