Overwatering Is Out

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3 Easy Actions to Start the Three S’s

Last week we shared a great 7-minute video on how easy and effective it is to remove your thirsty turf grass. During the video, we introduced the Three S’s for effective water use on landscaping—slow it, spread it, and sink it. Even though we are a few months out from our rainy season, one thing we’ve learned from the drought is that it pays to plan ahead.

Sooo, if you do think about removing your turf grass or making other landscape changes, consider these three easy improvements while you’re out there sprucing up your outdoor space! All three are quick and effective actions to get at that first S—slow it.


Your roof is a big sheet that collects and redirects rainwater, giving it a lot of speed. When the water is funneled into the downspouts, it picks up even more speed. Adding additional downspouts releases some of that pressure and provides you with more options for where you want to direct the downspouts.


Rain Barrels

One of the best places to redirect the water is into a rain barrel. Nothing quite slows water like storing it for use later. The stored water can be used for irrigating plants, or released off slowly after storm events to allow for more consistent infiltration.

Don’t forget, Orange County offers rebates up to $75 per rain barrel and we’re happy to help you fill them out!


Outlet Protection

Almost as important as having gutters and downspouts is where you aim them. In addition to rain barrels, here are three quick fixes you can consider to help slow water:

  • Splash Guards. These are simple, usually plastic, base plates that go at the bottom of the downspout. When the water hits the splash guard, it is spread out in a wider arc, losing momentum and soaking more soil.
  • Hose Adapters. These are simple attachments that allow a standard garden hose to be attached to a downspout. You can then move the hose around your yard to particularly thirsty zones such as the base of a tree.
  • Rock Dissipaters. This is a low tech solution that directs high velocity water into nice, durable rock. The surfaces of the rock absorb the energy, slow the water, and reduce it to a spread out trickle—just make sure that spread out trickle is moving away from the foundation of the home and you’re all set.


As always, if you want even MORE information or a tailored solution for your specific space, you can always reach out to the Master Gardeners Hotline!

UCCE Master Gardeners Hotline

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