Q: Dear Owlie, 
As the summer heats up, I’m worried that I’m not watering my landscape efficiently.  The soil around my trees and plants is alarmingly dry, but since we are in a drought, I do not want to use more water.  What can I do to ensure the water for my landscape is being used efficiently?
  
Sincerely, 
Efficient Water-User 
 

A: Dear Efficient Water-User

Thank you for looking for ways to water your landscape efficiently.  The summer brings with it higher rates of evaporation, but mulch can help conserve your soil’s moisture.  Use organic mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation, improve the soil and prevent weeds.  This can save you 20-30 gallons per 1,000 sq. ft. each time you water.  Also, try installing drip irrigation, which directly applies water to the roots of shrubs and trees.  Learn more outdoor watering tips at www.ieua.org.  

Good luck with using water for your landscape more efficiently, 
Owlie