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It took about six hours to dig up the turf.

Bye, bye lawn. It took two guys about six hours to dig up the turf.

I attended my first WaterSmart Makeover Class a few weeks ago. It was really inspiring, so inspiring that I went home and ripped out the grass in the front yard! Actually, I learned that you don’t have to do that. There is a way to eliminate your turf without the expense and hard labor of digging it out, but that is for the next class.

Workbook for WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series

Workbook for WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series

The class is put on by the San Diego Water Authority and started with an overview by the Assistant Water Resource Specialist Joni German. I won’t get into all the details of the drought in the state of California but for San Diego, I learned some interesting facts that explain why my Hydrangeas look dead and my vegetable garden won’t grow the same way it did.

First of all she explained that the rainfall in San Diego this year is actually above average! We usually get 10 inches a year and this year we have had 11 inches already. Then why do my plants look so crappy? It is because our temperatures have been hotter than normal for the last fifteen months. 2014 was the hottest year on record for San Diego. This heatwave, combined with our water conservation efforts, have left my garden looking horrible. It’s definitely time for a change.

Change requires work–and homework. I had to do some drainage testing, soil testing, and draw up a basic sketch of the existing landscape and irrigation features. It was stuff I like to do…

Dig a 12 X 12 foot hole fill with water. Let sit 8 hours. Then fill with water. Let sit one hour. Measure how far water has gone down. Look up your results on drainage scale.

Drainage test. Dig a 12 X 12 foot hole and fill with water. Let sit 8 hours. Then fill with water. Let sit one hour. Measure how far water has gone down. Look up your results on drainage scale.

Next class is on landscape design–I’m so excited. The third class is where we put our skills to work and show our design plans to an actual designer. We each get thirty minutes of consultation.  The final class is on irrigation. If you are considering replacing your lawn with water-wise plants, I highly suggest you sign up for this free WaterSmart Makeover Class. It is a very useful and interesting class and it’s FREE. You can’t beat that. You get dinner too.

The next class is on my 15th anniversary. Your spouse can go with you. I’m sure it will be a very educational anniversary. Maybe I can bring some champagne!

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