Q: I am in the process of redoing my front yard to water-smart landscaping. We had to pull out an olive tree because olives and rock do not mix, and we cannot seem to control the growth of the olives even when spraying twice a year. I saw an article in the paper where the water company wants us to plant water-smart trees. However, it does not tell me which trees are water-smart. Can you please give me some suggestions? I have a corner house so it will be in the front yard, full sun.
A: Water-smart trees are supposed to use less water than other types. But of course, if you give it more, it will use it. Instead of using 4 to 5 feet of water under their canopy, water-smart trees can survive with about 2 feet of water applied under their canopy.
Most of them can be planted in full sun. Simply putting lower water use trees and shrubs will not change their need for water. They must be managed.
Still water deep but not very often. Instead of watering daily, water with more minutes and give the plants a rest without water.
Water instead three (or maybe at the most four days) per week. Increase the minutes they are watered to compensate for the rest days. Do this during the heat. Make sure the plants have at least 2 inches of mulch on the surface of the soil. This mulch will give the plants one day of rest without water between irrigations.
There is a list created by the Las Vegas water company that you can use. Try searching online for Southern Nevada Water Authority and “water smart plants.” You will see two lists: one you can print and one you can search.