Continuing on the theme from last week about the newly implemented water restrictions here in San Diego, this week we will discuss what to do if you find yourself with a higher then expected water bill.

The most common reason for a higher then normal water bill is pretty straight forward, you used more water. With more then half of a typical residents water being used on their landscape other areas despite being a much smaller percentage can add up. Think back and see if you can remember what might have caused that, did you have guest staying at your place, did your child move home for the summer, these will cause a rise in usage. The second most common is a leak, even if they are small when left unattended they can be costly. Often they are in the irrigation system and the best way to find out is to search for an abnormally wet spot as well as visually inspect each head on each zone for a broken or missing part. If you are looking for a leak not associated with your irrigation system the best way to do that is to turn off the water to your home and all water using appliances. Read the meter and then again 15 min later, if the dial has not moved you don’t have a leak. If the dial moved then start inspection faucets, and toilets if you don’t find anything the leak is in a underground pipe and you will need to call a plumber. The third and least likely reason behind a increased water bill is reader error. While this is unlikely its possible, visual read your meter yourself and compare the findings to what they billed you for.

Like I have mentioned before, I highly recommend transforming your landscape from water thirsty plants to more climate appropriate plants schemes, but I believe we should all do whatever we can to limit water usage in all aspects of our lives and being aware of ones overall water usage and how to detect a leak is a great way to be water smart.

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If you would like Cleator Landscape Design to help create a drought tolerant outdoor space for your property, please contact us at 619.917.3644

New San Diego permanent and Level 1 water restrictions went into place on July 1st, and they have many people asking “what changed”. Well if you follow this blog and our environmentally conscience then the answer is not much.

Some of the items are pretty simple and you probably have been doing for years. Such as dont water between 10:00am and 6:oo pm, dont use a hose to wash down sidewalks, fountains need a recirculating pump, dont water when its raining, and my favorite limiting the use of fire hydrants to fire fighting.

We all need to be aware of the drought and limit our use of water wherever we can. I personally feel that we should take it upon ourselves to not only follow the new regulations but take it another step further and be a example in our community on how to really curb our dependance on water. Great ways to do so are removing lawns and thirsty plants, installing a smart irrigation system, run dishwasher and other water using appliances only when full, use gray water where possible, capture what rainfall we do get and many other things that can save water and hopefully get others to do the same.

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If you would like Cleator Landscape Design to help with creating a beautiful low water use outdoor space for you, please contact us at 619.917.3644

Here in San Diego and throughout much of California we are able to grow a wide range of  beautiful trees for our outdoor spaces, but if your looking for a native standout you may find yourself stumped. One great family of native trees are the Oaks, in our area some that do especially well are the Coastal Live Oak, Interior Live Oak, Black Oak, Canyon Live Oak and the Scrub Oak.  If you are looking to grow your own iconic California tree I recommend planting your acorns right after the first rain of the season (typically in November) in a site with great drainage. Place the acorn on its side in a hole about as wide and deep as your hand, cover with about an inch of soil. Due to the fact that most critters like to harvest acorns its best to protect them with a small diameter metal screen for the first few years. Let the rain help with the watering chores however its best to give them a few drinks during the summer for the first few years to help them along. In time you will have your own iconic tree to be enjoyed by future generations.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a beautiful outdoor space please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Here are a few bits of information that should help you in your San Diego garden this month.

Tending to your citrus this time of year is a great way to ensure you will have fruit to enjoy in the future. I recommend feeding your citrus right about now, and if you are replanting an older tree or planting a new tree be sure to dial in the soil. Proper soil will help to supply the tree with the nutrients it needs but also will reduce the frequency of waterings.

Removing your lawn. Water it well then cover it completely with clear plastic, secure the edges and leave in place for 6 or more weeks to completely destroy the grass. Then re-water and see what pops up, remove thoes few stragglers and you should be good.

Prune your spent hydrangea blooms to only two buds per stalk.

Prune off your grapes leaves within about 6-8 inches of the fruit when fruit is about the size of a pea. Leaving the foliage on the south side of the vine to help shade it from the summer sun. This will improve air circulation while still shading the fruit as it matures.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a beautiful outdoor space please contact us a 619.917.3644

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In San Diego’s urban setting with it’s small lots, makes use of every inch of your property can help to make it function more like a larger space. Making double duty out of your landscape elements is one way to achieve this feeling. Think of all your landscape features that could be reused or redesigned to give you the space and flexibility you need is a great way to go.

One idea is to incorporate storage under built-in seats, or allow for a sandbox to also be a firepit. Growing edible such as lemon or orange trees offer vertical height, screening and the added benefit of homegrown goodness.  Have a small yard but need a pool and a larger entertaining space, consider a rectangular pool with a metal retractable cover to act as dance floor when called for.

This kind of thinking can allow your outdoor space to move and adjust to the needs of the client at any moment. If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a multi-functional space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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