Water Authority offers tips on planning xeriscape conversions

Albuquerque News

WATCH: Full interview with Richard Perce, irrigation efficiency specialist with Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In times of drought it is more important than every for residents to water their landscapes efficiently. January is the perfect time to plan yard projects that will reduce water usage.

Irrigation Efficiency Specialist for the Water Authority, Richard Perce discusses landscaping tips for this time of year. The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority explains that winter is the best time to rethink your high-water use turfgrass and to create a plan for a xeriscape yard of desert-friendly plants.

A desert-friendly xeriscape will help you save water, reduce maintenance, encourage pollinators, and beat the summer heat. A desert-friendly xeriscape is defined as one that has half of its total landscape area with desert-friendly plants that are selected from the Water Authority’s “How To Xeriscape Guide” and typically watered with drip systems or by hand.

According to the Water Authority, customers who transform their landscapes from high water use turfgrass to a desert-friendly landscape can qualify for a $1.00 per square foot rebate. Those interested in participating in the Desert Friendly Xeriscape Conversion Rebate are asked to not start your turf removal project until you have applied online to the program and schedule an initial inspection. An inspection is required before removing your grass lawn to see if your project qualifies.

Water Authority explains that temperatures skyrocketed this winter and with so much dryness people may be inclinded to turn their irrigation system and leave it running. While it may be drier than normal, Water Authority reminds the public that plants are still dormant.

Watering in winter once a month is enough to combat the drought conditions and watering coupled with warmer day temperatures may send the wrong message to plants to start growing too early. The new sprouts could be damaged by below-freezing temperatures. Residents are encouraged to add mulch to retain available moisture and if needed, deeply water your trees once a month using a hose.

For more information on landscaping tips, visit 505outside.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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