Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Water Restrictions and Recognizing Signs of Water Stress

Water Restriction is Mandatory: Time to Schedule a Bay-Friendly Garden Walk?

Conserve our water for the future
Conserve our water for the future
In response to the drought, Marin has been asked to reduce water use by 20% compared to 2013 for the period from June 2015 through February 2016.  This lower figure reflects our efforts to conserve water in 2014.  Reducing lawn is one of the most effective ways to conserve water: removing 1 sqft of grass can save 42 gallons/yr of water.  Mulching is another great way to save water. UC Marin Master Gardeners have resources and advice for homeowners on how to deal with the drought. Also, you can learn about these strategies and more by scheduling a Marin-Friendly Garden Walk.  Two specially trained Master Gardeners will visit your garden and offer free water-wise gardening tips.

Recognize the Signs of Water Stress on Plants

It's important to be able to recognize the first signs of drought stress because there is a point of "no return" where no amount of water will save a stricken plant. Large trees and shrubs are an investment worth saving. So how to recognize drought stress and how do you save these plants?

  • Wilted or drooping leaves that do not return to normal by evening
  • Curled or yellow leaves that fold or drop
  • Greyish foliage that loses its green luster
  • Smaller than normal new leaves 

Use whatever water is available to save mature ornamentals and fruit trees. One or two deep, slow irrigations with a garden hose several weeks apart will often keep these plants alive through another dry summer.

If you have any questions, please call, write, or drop by the Help Desk at the Master Gardener Extension Office in Novato.

Webmaster Email: banielsen@ucanr.edu