Mulch & Soil

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Healthy soil can reduce the need for water

Mulch and Soil conditioning can play an important part in helping your landscape get the most out of limited watering.


Mulch helps stabilize the temperature and moisture of the soil, limiting overheating in the summer and reducing evaporation. It also inhibits the growth of weeds that compete with your plants for water (installing mulch means you'll have fewer hours of labor wasted on weeding).

Man shoveling dirt under a tall Ocotillo plant.

Soil amendments

Good soil can help plants thrive and make the most efficient use of the water they receive. Plan to have your soil tested by a professional and add specified organics.

​Other guidelines

You can make improvements to your landscape and reduce water use by taking a few simple steps:

  • Consider organic wetting agents for keeping water and nutrients in the soil. Water storing granules can also be added to facilitate soil retention.

  • Make sure the topsoil depth is at least six inches. Thicken areas where the topsoil is too thin (avoiding areas with existing tree roots).

  • Enrich soil with 25 to 35 percent organic compost. Avoid using fertilizers as these can stimulate excessive growth, resulting in greater demand for water.

  • Terrace areas with slopes greater that 3:1 to reduce potential for runoff and erosion.

Where can I find out more?​