Planning an Efficient Irrigation System: Zoned Irrigation

Careful planning will result in an attractive landscape. Be sure to check your plant selections for their watering needs. For a water-efficient landscape, it is crucial to group plants with similar watering needs into three basic zones:

Hint: Use our plant search section to find plants with similar watering needs.


This drip-irrigated landscape uses little to no water once established. It is characterized by a variety of native desert plants and compatible exotics that are spaced to expose a rich "desert pavement" of scattered rock.


This lush-looking landscape includes evergreen trees and shrub masses and deciduous areas that are inspired by the mountains west of Reno. A deep wood chip mulch mimics natural forest duff and visually reinforces the concept. Mulches keep water evaporation to a minimum. This treatment can form visual screens and backgrounds for garden areas and they create favorable microclimates by providing wind breaks. Deciduous trees allow warm winter sun while providing summer shade. Plants used here flourish with low to moderate amounts of water supplied by drip irrigation.


Thirstier plants have a place in our landscapes, too. Dry streams constructed of rounded river cobbles and boulders can be used to visually enhance drainage ways, correct erosion problems and provide a garden focal point. Landscapes planted with moderate water-use plants, such as those which grow along mountain and dry streams, have a beautiful, natural look.

Plant selections can coordinate with the mountain theme or can include drier, native wildflowers to work with low water use plantings. Rounded river cobbles and boulders are used to evoke the region's native stream sides. Boulders can also add accents and informal seating to lawn areas. Lawns and wildflower are often planted from seed and can be very water-efficient depending on the kind of seed.

Plus special deep watering for trees:


Water trees once every 10-14 days.


Water trees once every 7-10 days.

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The seven horticultural principles: