Pruning Sub-Shrubs in the Water-Wise Landscape

What is a Sub-Shrub?

Sub-shrubs are perennial plants whose woody growth originates at the base of the plant. Herbaceous growth occurs from basal buds, or buds at the base of the plant, during the growing season. Many garden herbs fall into this category.

The sub-shrubs described below bloom on new growth. It is important to remove old and dead growth to stimulate new stem formation and flowering.  Unpruned sub-shrubs tend to become leggy and unattractive.

Popular water-wise sub-shrubs include Russian …

Basics of Organic Landscape Maintenance

Basics of Organic Landscape Maintenance

Many people are interested in reducing or eliminating pesticides and inorganic fertilizers in the landscape because of concerns about water quality and potential toxic threats to humans, pets, bees, birds, and other wildlife.

One way to achieve this is by using organic landscape maintenance. Organic maintenance practices include the elimination of toxic synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and reducing the amount of water used in the landscape. Note that improper use of organic and inorganic …

Myth of a No Maintenance Landscape

The myth of a no maintenance landscape seems to persist in many places. Any landscape altered by humans will probably need some sort of maintenance. Aggressive weeds will definitely need some attention.

An unmaintained lawn can be a fire hazard and can cause weeds to migrate to neighboring yards. No one wants a ticked off neighbor!

Tips to Keeping a Landscape as Low Maintenance as Possible

  • Keep the design simple
  • Minimize turf area
  • Create naturalized areas using trees and shrub

Types of Lawnmowers

A variety of mowing system choices are widely available for maintaining turf areas. Below is a brief synopsis of different types of the mowers with their pros and cons.  Costs vary depending on size and power of mower.

Type of Lawnmowers:



  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Multi-use (wool, milk, meat)
  • Potential for profit


  • Expense
  • Winter housing and feed
  • High level of knowledge, skill, and management
  • Manure management
  • Municipal codes may prevent use

Reel Mowers


  • No emissions
  • Quiet
  • Does not

Mowing Turfgrass to be Water-Wise

Mowing height can contribute significantly to the health of the lawn. Correct mowing height can also reduce the amount of water used by turf during the hot summer months.

By increasing mowing height, grass roots grow deeper into the soil allowing them to survive longer without water.

Higher mowing heights also help control annual weeds in the lawn by decreasing light needed for weed seed germination.

Mowing Tips for Water-Wise Turfgrass

  • Mow turf height to about 3 inches
  • Remove only

Methods of Weed Control in Water Conserving Landscapes

Nothing sucks the fun out of gardening quite like weeds.  They can be persistent, hard to kill, and may even have thorns or toxic properties.

What else can be said for something that stands between you and your hammock on a quiet summer Saturday?

Fighting them is hard work and often discouraging, especially when they come roaring back a few days after they were removed.

Many of the techniques used for water conservation in landscapes also help control weeds. …