One of my goals as a gardener is balance. I strive to balance my dream garden and the one I have time to plant and maintain. I seek harmony between what is beautiful in the landscape and what is functional there. I think every gardener shares the quest for balance. For example, a friend of mine holds a yearly argument with herself pitting her desire to grow every single variety of heirloom tomato versus her family’s capacity for tomato consumption. Nevada’s drought provides area gardeners with another balancing act to consider: the equilibrium between beautifying, enjoying and cooling our urban environment and responsible water use.

A thought that runs through my mind as I walk the water-wise tightrope is this: enriching our city with gardens and landscapes to improve quality of life is not an irresponsible use of water. What is irresponsible is excessively or improperly irrigating them. Responsible water use is achieved through proper water management, and that can be attained without changing a single plant. Extreme makeovers are not needed; it is possible to save water and your garden and landscape. To learn how, contact Cooperative Extension.

We can help you discover how much water your plants need, the most efficient delivery method for that moisture and the proper schedule on which to irrigate. Our Master Gardener Volunteers are available for consultations Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 4955 Energy Way in Reno. Stop by, call 775-336-0265, send an email to or visit our website,

We also offer educational events to foster proper water management.

Andrews, A. 2015, Save Water and Your Garden and Landscape, Reno Gazette-Journal

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