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Garden Myths to Debunk as You Dig This Fall and Rest Over Winter

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Survey Says

House

South Jordan City residents want to conserve water and are ready for change, according to over 500 responses to the recent water survey. The results provide great insights that will help guide the City’s water conservation program. Here are some interesting findings from the survey:

-          Availability of clean water is the most important issue to residents.

-          37% would like to see more water conservation rebates.

-          35% would like to see outdoor watering restrictions enforced.

-          16% feel we should limit the amount of residential grass.

-          Only 3% feel we should raise rates to promote water conservation.

There were many comments about the added cost of expanding rebates. South Jordan seeks out and is lucky to receive grants from other agencies to help fund rebate programs. Future additional rebates will hopefully continue to operate through these grant programs to minimize any financial impact on the City.

Respondents were also right on track when it came to effective ways to reduce their water use:  50% of respondents think the best way is by using a smart sprinkler controller, and 28% think grass should be replaced with low water use plants. Sixty percent of all water is used on outdoor landscaping, reducing water hungry grass and using a smart controller that only waters when it’s needed, will help reduce that number and increase customer savings.

With a charge from the Governor to reduce 25% by the year 2025 the city has been working hard to make sure this goal is met. South Jordan City has already reduced its gallons per capita per day (GPCD) by nearly 20%, but there is still work to be done. Survey respondents were asked about having grass in parkstrips:  over 82% said they would be willing to remove grass from their parkstrip and 83% said they would be willing to remove 20-50% grass from their overall landscape. This is great news for the conservation effort. While no one, including South Jordan City, wants to remove all grass from homes, we do want to minimize waste. Residents who are interested also indicated a desire for the City to assist in the replacement of grass from parkstrips and other areas. The City has committed to researching this and will look at all types of programs, rebates and options to make available in the near future.

Thank you again for completing the survey and giving us the opportunity to know what you want. By working together we can make the changes necessary to reach our conservation goals and ensure water availability into the future.

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Why Fall Is the Best Time for Planting

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10 Ways to Use Ornamental Grasses in the Landscape

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It’s time to turn off and winterize your sprinklers

Fall trees

As October rolls in and the leaves begin to fall you don’t want to forget about your sprinkler irrigation system. Here are a few steps for making sure your irrigation system is good to go for the cold months and ready for next Spring.

1. Turn off the main valve. Locate the main line valve to your sprinkler irrigation system and turn it off. This may be a stop-and-waste valve located below ground in your yard, or may be a ball-valve located in your home or an irrigation box in your yard. It is normally located between the water meter and your home. Make sure the valve is closed tight to avoid leakage through the valve.

2. Open drains. If your system has been fitted with drains you can simply open them and allow the water to drain over time. Drains can be manual or automatic, once the system is off you should see water draining from them. Not all irrigation systems have drains, the following steps will help evacuate water in other ways. Leave the drains open to allow water to continue to escape throughout the winter. Just remember to close them when you start up your system in the Spring.

3. Run each irrigation section manually. Using your sprinkler controller, manually run each zone of the sprinkler system for at least 30 seconds. This will help push the water still in the lines out. Switch your sprinkler controller to the Off position once you’ve run each section.

4. Remove or drain your backflow preventer. If you have a backflow preventer, make sure you winterize it to keep it from freezing and breaking during the winter.

- Turn all of the small test cock valves ¼ of a turn using a flat head screwdriver to allow water to drain out. 

- Remove the backflow preventer if possible. This is the easiest way to protect it. Once removed, tip the backflow preventer each way to allow the remaining water to drain out of the main valves.

- Turn the two main valves ¼ turn after draining it.

- Wrap the backflow preventer in a towel or other insulated material. Do this whether your remove it or leave it in place. Even stored in your garage or basement it can be at risk for freezing.

5. Don't forget to remove the hose from your hose bib. Water left in a hose connected to the house can cause breaks when the temperature drops. remember to remove the hose and make sure the valve is closed tight to prevent  leaks.

Optional – Use an air compressor to help clear the water out of the irrigation system and backflow preventer. This should be done with caution as high pressure air can cause damage to parts in your irrigation system and backflow preventer. If done correctly sprinkler systems and backflow preventers can be winterized without the use of an air compressor.  Air should be applied slowly to each zone by attaching it before the valve. Never run air into the system without having at least one valve open.

A number of landscape and sprinkler irrigation companies also provide winterizing and startup services. Make sure you research several companies before hiring someone to ensure the best price and service.

Have questions? Contact the water division at (801)253-5230 or by emailing publicworks@sjc.utah.gov.

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Eagle Scout Parkstrip Project to Save City Huge Amounts of Water

Last week a local scout troop underwent a huge project to take a parkstrip of grass and convert it to a waterwise landscape.

Scout Group Photo Jaedon White led his scout troop as part of his Eagle Scout Project to save water and beautify the intersection of 2200 west and Canterwood Drive.

 

Unfinished corner

The project included removing a few dying trees and 2000 square feet of grass and lots of weeds. Once the area was clear an all new drip irrigation system was installed. The scouts then planted 5 trees and over 50 native and drought tolerant plants and bushes. Rock mulch was then added to create a beautiful xeriscape that will save over 10,000 gallons a month.

Final Project

Parkstrip

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We Bust 4 More Native Plant Myths

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The Truth About Native Plants

Wasatch Mountain Flowers

Find out the truth about native plants and whether you should use them in your landscape.

1. Native does not mean it will grow in your flower garden.

                For every region there are hundreds of native plants. however, just because they grow in your region does not mean they will work in your garden. It is important to do your homework and find native plants that match the climate at your home. Take note of where they grow naturally, is it at high elevation or under lots of shade. Make sure you mimic the plants natural environment to get the best results.

2. Native does not mean drought tolerant.

                Often times the term native plant is used interchangeably with drought tolerant, while many native plants are drought tolerant this is not always the case. Even in Utah’s arid climate there are many different native plants with a wide variety of water needs. Make sure you are paying close attention to how you water your native plants; too much water can kill your plants just as easy as not enough.   

3. Native pants are aggressive and will take over a garden.

                While many native species can be aggressive it does not mean you can’t use them in your garden. Try planting aggressive species in planters and pots to keep them under control. Also look at proper spacing to ensure you will have enough room for the plant to get to its full growth potential. Also make sure you keep large plants from taking over a path or sidewalk, and consult an expert on the best place for the plants you want to feature.

Potted Wild Flower

4. Native plants require you to change out the soil.

                Remember to always match the plant to the site and find out what soil type does the native plant thrive in. bringing in the right soil can be costly and does not mean you will get the same outcome. For many people the choice to switch to native plants is done to reduce maintenance. So to achieve the desired low maintenance make sure you do your homework and look at soil, water requirement, climate, and what type of sunlight it receives naturally. For help with soils, take a sample to your local extension office for a full analysis.

5. Native plants are expensive and hard to find.

                All varieties of plants can become costly and native plants are no different, however there are many species that are very affordable and easily found at local nurseries. For more information check out Jordan Valley Conservation Garden Park for a look at many native plants and find out where to buy.

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Have Your Garden Fountain and Be Water Wise Too

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Lush Gardens With Low Water Needs

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