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How to create a water-efficient landscape with succulents

This weekend’s Advice to Grow By workshop will focus on succulents.
This weekend’s Advice to Grow By workshop will focus on succulents.

We’ll focus on creating a water-efficient landscape plan with an emphasis on succulents this Saturday at UC Master Gardener Program’s Advice to Grow By workshop.

The city of San Luis Obispo has published guidelines for irrigation efficiency for many different outdoor spaces including recreation areas, commercial operations, developer-installed landscaping for single-family homes, rehabilitated landscapes, and new construction landscapes for homeowners.

Depending on the size of the new landscape, the homeowner may need to submit a landscape design plan that includes an irrigation plan, a soils management report, grading design plan and stormwater management plan. These reports must also include a plan for soil conditioning and show that runoff and erosion will be minimized. The bottom line is that water efficiency is a must at every level.

The UC Master Gardener Program recognizes the urgency of water efficiency and is working to provide homeowners with options and advice for developing a water wise landscape. Therefore, we turn to succulents. Succulents are extremely economical in their use of water. They are also very appealing because they come in many sizes, shapes and colors. Plus, many have interesting and showy flowers.

If you’re designing a new landscape to include succulents, plan to grade the area to minimize runoff and erosion. Design the irrigation to service groups of plants that add visual interest and have similar irrigation needs. Be sure to also include a drainage system to divert water appropriately to avoid potential problems.

Evaluate the amount of sun and shade that will be received in different areas of the landscape. If trees are planted, estimate the amount of shade the canopies will create. Be judicious if planting close to a home. Consider the amount of light and heat that will be reflected off windows, eaves and walkways.

These are just a few tips to get you started toward a water-efficient landscape. Join the UC Master Gardeners at the Advice to Grow By workshop to learn more about succulents. The workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Garden of the Seven Sisters, 2156 Sierra Way, in San Luis Obispo.

Leonard Cicerello is a UCCE Master Gardener.

Got a gardening question?

In San Luis Obispo call 781-5939, Arroyo Grande, 473-7190 and Templeton, 434-4105. Visit us at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo/ or email us at anrmgslo@ucanr.edu. Follow us on Instagram at slo_mgs and like us on Facebook. Informative garden workshops are held the third Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. to noon at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. Garden docents are available after the workshop until 1 p.m. To request a tour of the garden, call 781-5939.