Make a Star of Your Summer Strong Yard! Enter the Summer Strong Yard Contest here.

A summer strong yard is tough enough to muscle through the Sacramento region’s hottest days and still look its best. From water-wise best practices and irrigation to stunning low-water use plants, here’s how you can make your yard SUMMER STRONG:

Water your trees–efficiently.

Trees are one of the most water-efficient plants in the landscape when watered correctly. During the dry summer months, they need extra water delivered slowly and deeply—water from lawn sprinklers is not enough. Find efficient tree watering techniques (tips and videos) for both mature and young trees here.

Add low-water and native plants in your yard or garden—saves 90 gallons per 1,000 square feet each time you water.

Low-water and native plants are not only beautiful, they grow strong and deep roots tough enough for hot summers. Combined with efficient drip irrigation, adding low-water plants can provide significant water savings, too, compared to maintaining a green lawn. Learn more about low-water plants here and find a database of low-water plants here.

Check soil moisture before turning on sprinklers—saves 80 gallons of water per day.

People often decide to water their yard just by looking at their plants or if the weather is hot and dry. The result is that oftentimes people overwater, applying more than their lawn and plants really need. The only way to know for sure is to check soil moisture with a moisture meter or by digging down with a hand shovel to check soil moisture. Learn more here.

Upgrade to a WaterSense-labeled weather-based sprinkler timer—saves up to 100-150 gallons of water per day.

These sprinkler timers act like a thermostat for your sprinklers, adjusting the amount of water plants and lawn receive according to weather conditions, soil type, sun exposure (such as shade vs. full sun) and plant type. Learn more here.


Water plants early in the morning to reduce evaporation—saves 50 gallons of water each time you water.

Experienced gardeners know that timing is everything. One way to make sure your plants get the right amount of water without wasting a drop is to water them early in the morning. This cuts down on evaporation loss and fungal disease by providing foliage a chance to dry in the afternoon sun. Learn more smart timing tips here.

Water providers are here to help!

Many water providers offer rebates for replacing older sprinklers and irrigation equipment with more efficient models. In addition to rebates, many local water providers offer free consultations for customers with tailored information on how they can specifically use less water in the home and the garden. You can learn more here.