California Native Plant Sale Starts September 1

California Native Plant Sale Starts September 1

The Fall California Native Plant Sale, an annual fundraising event for the San Diego Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, starts next Tuesday, September 1.

This year, you’ll order plants online. You can preview the plants on the society’s website right now and start buying plants on September 1. Your plants will be ready for pick-up the last weekend of October.

The sale includes more than 300 species of California native plants, trees, seeds and bulbs that use little water and attract native birds, bees and butterflies to your landscape. The society’s website features a photo directory of the plants on sale, a plant list in Excel, and lists of plants that are easy to grow, edible, succulents, good in a container and rare. The society also offers a Native Landscape Planting Guide.

Because the sale is a fundraiser, there is a $75 minimum on orders, and the sale ends when 180 orders have been received, or on September 15 — whichever comes first.

Learn More on the Society’s Website

Get paid to save

Get paid to save

Helix Water District customers are now eligible to receive a $3 per square foot rebate when they remove grass and replace it with sustainable landscaping.

The additional funding is great news for homeowners and businesses looking to save water and improve their yard with sustainable landscaping. Sustainable landscaping includes water-saving plants and designs that improve irrigation efficiency, capture stormwater, improve soils and create habitat for native plants and animals.

The additional funding that increases the rebate amount from $2 to $3 per square foot is the result of a recent grant received by the region’s wholesale water supplier, the San Diego County Water Authority. It is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The $3 rebate is open to both residential and commercial customers who have existing lawns and meet program eligibility requirements. Customers must apply after July 1, 2020 and be preapproved before removing grass. Funding is subject to change without notice.

To begin your application and reserve your funding, visit www.socalwatersmart.com.

For design ideas and information about sustainable landscaping, visit hwd.com/sustainable-landscape.

Our Demonstration Landscape is Complete

Our Demonstration Landscape is Complete

Helix Water District’s new demonstration landscape, located at its administration office in La Mesa, is complete. The project beautifies the neighborhood and inspires others to install WaterSmart landscaping.

The demonstration landscape includes three unique water-wise gardens on the streets around the building, including a Mediterranean garden on University Avenue, a desert landscape on Lee Avenue and a California native landscape along the building’s main entrance on Quince Street. Each is full of flowers, colors and textures.

 

“Our new demonstration landscape shows customers that water-efficient landscaping is not just one style,” said Helix Water District Board President Mark Gracyk. “You can choose plants that compliment your home and personal taste – there is an option for everyone.”

 Plant markers provide the name of each plant and a QR code, which when scanned with a smartphone, provides each plant’s name, sun and water needs, mature size and photo.

 The district also created an interactive webpage where customers can make a list of their favorite plants and download each garden’s design plan. Information on efficient irrigation and rebate programs is also available.

“We’ve made it easy for customers to learn about WaterSmart plants and landscaping,” said Gracyk.

 The plants in all three of the gardens are adapted to San Diego’s climate and need half to a fifth of the water that a traditional lawn needs. In addition to requiring less water, WaterSmart landscapes also require less maintenance and provide habitat for local wildlife like honeybees, birds and butterflies.

 “Outdoor water use typically accounts for half of a home’s total water use,” said Helix Water District Board Vice President DeAna Verbeke. “With our new demonstration garden, we’re encouraging people to upgrade to a WaterSmart landscape by showing them that water-wise plants are not only sustainable but beautiful as well.”

 The project was partially funded through a grant from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

 

New Video: Easy fix for a common outdoor leak

New Video: Easy fix for a common outdoor leak

When it comes to outdoor water leaks, irrigation valves are one of the first places to look.

Irrigation valves use moving parts to control water flow. Over time, the continued operation of these parts makes the valve more vulnerable to leak.

When an irrigation valve leaks, the water leaks out of the valve itself or out of the lowest sprinkler.  These types of leaks can cause water waste, drown plants and even cause property damage. It is important to fix leaking valves as soon as you can.

Our video shows you how to make this simple repair so that you can keep using water efficiently and keep your plants happy.

Related Posts

California Native Plant Sale Starts September 1

California Native Plant Sale Starts September 1

The Fall California Native Plant Sale, an annual fundraising event for the San Diego Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, starts next Tuesday, September 1. This year, you'll order plants online. You can preview the plants on the society's website right now...

Get paid to save

Get paid to save

Helix Water District customers are now eligible to receive a $3 per square foot rebate when they remove grass and replace it with sustainable landscaping.The additional funding is great news for homeowners and businesses looking to save water and improve their yard...

Our Demonstration Landscape is Complete

Our Demonstration Landscape is Complete

Helix Water District’s new demonstration landscape, located at its administration office in La Mesa, is complete. The project beautifies the neighborhood and inspires others to install WaterSmart landscaping. The demonstration landscape includes three unique...

New video helps you program your controller and water efficiently

New video helps you program your controller and water efficiently

As we enter the summer season with its longer and hotter days, your landscape will require more water to stay healthy.

Correctly programming your irrigation controller is key to keeping your plants thriving, and your water bill low.

Before you start adjusting your irrigation controller, watch our video. We will show you how your controller operates and functions so that you can water like a pro, keep your landscape thriving and save a lot of water.

Take control of your irrigation timer and water with confidence.

For more watering tips on how to water, visit our website

Regional collaboration will expand drought-proof water supply

Regional collaboration will expand drought-proof water supply

Helix Water District is pleased to announce its next steps towards participation in the East County Advanced Water Purification Project.

The Helix Water District Board of Directors authorized its General Manager to sign water purchase agreements for the East County Advanced Water Purification project at a special meeting on May 27, 2020.

The project is a collaborative, regional effort that will diversify the district’s water portfolio, provide a drought-proof supply and further enhance reliability by purifying treated wastewater using the district’s Lake Jennings and other facilities.

The $681 million project, led by the ECAWP Joint Powers Authority, will recycle daily wastewater flows from Santee, El Cajon, Lakeside, Winter Gardens and Alpine. Treated water will undergo membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation to produce water that is near-distilled in quality.

The purified water will be piped into Helix’s Lake Jennings before undergoing additional processing at the district’s R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant and be distributed as safe, clean drinking water.

“I’m looking forward to the development of this project and I believe it’s an investment that strengthens our district’s water supply reliability and security. This is a great example of what can be accomplished by working with our neighboring agencies,” said Helix Water District Board President Mark Gracyk.

ECAWP project water will reduce east San Diego County’s dependence on imported water by almost 30 percent once full operations begin in 2026. The project will create a local supply for the East County at about the same cost as what the district pays now for imported water. Deliveries of imported water from the Colorado River and State Water Project can be significantly curtailed during times of drought, making them less reliable than local sources.

“The project was conceived by JPA members as a way to reduce rising wastewater costs for their customers. For Helix to participate, the project had to make financial sense for our ratepayers as well,” said Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo. “By expanding our local supply, the ECAWP project water will help ensure that we are better able to navigate future droughts.”

The 30-year purchase agreements establish the cost and quantity of water that Helix will purchase from the ECAWP JPA under the proposed project.

Helix and the JPA members – Padre Dam Municipal Water District, San Diego County Sanitation District and the City of El Cajon – have been working together to evaluate the ECAWP plan since 2014. Each JPA member has until 2021 to make a final decision on the feasibility of the project and participation.

Helix has invested $850,000 and significant board and staff resources to study the feasibility of the project, including a tracer study with Scripps Institute of Oceanography to learn how water moves and mixes in Lake Jennings.

“We are committed to exploring sustainable projects that benefit our customers,” said Gracyk. “The ECAWP project will be a great complement to our other ongoing investments in regional water supply projects, such as the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, to ensure we have enough water to meet demand.”
About Helix Water District
Helix Water District provides water treatment for over 500,000 residents in San Diego’s east county suburbs, and water distribution for 277,000 people in the cities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove and El Cajon, the Spring Valley community and unincorporated areas of the county.

Watch the East County Advanced Water Purification Project video
https://eastcountyawp.com/community-outreach/video/

Learn about the advanced treatment process
https://eastcountyawp.com/treatment-process/

 

14 reasons to feature California native plants in your landscape

14 reasons to feature California native plants in your landscape

Photo: A honeybee in the garden of La Mesa resident Jim Julius. (Source: San Diego Chapter of California Native Plants Society)

The San Diego Chapter of the California Native Plants Society is doing something wonderful. They are featuring on their website 14 California native landscapes in the San Diego region, including two on Mt. Helix, and the homeowners who created them. Each profile includes photos of the plants and landscape, and the homeowner, in their own words, describing why they went native and the journey since then.

Plants and trees that are native to California, our deserts and northern Mexico are excellent choices for your east county landscape. First, they bring the beauty of California into your own property. Second, these plants and trees evolved over centuries with the water supply, soil and pests we have in east county, so they need low levels of irrigation after their first 6-12 months of growth, and little to no fertilizer. They evolved with California’s birds, bees and butterflies, as well, and will turn your landscape into vibrant habitat.

Helix’s new demonstration landscape at our administration office in La Mesa will feature Mediterranean, desert and California native gardens. This summer, when the gardens are open, you will be able to see a variety of California native plants and trees up close and identify each plant by scanning a QR code with your smartphone.

Until then, enjoy this article.

 

 

WaterSmart Phone Consultations Now Available

WaterSmart Phone Consultations Now Available

Are you interested in learning how you can reduce your indoor or outdoor water use, from the comfort of your home? We’re now offering WaterSmart phone consultations to district customers.

Helix’s conservation specialists are available to provide personalized recommendations over the phone regarding your water use and ways to improve your water efficiency. Possible topics include:

  • Troubleshoot possible causes of high bills
  • Indoor water use efficiency
  • Outdoor water use efficiency, including efficient irrigation technology and water-wise plants
  • How to check for leaks
  • How to monitor your water use

The phone consultations replace the district’s free in-person home water use evaluations, which have been temporarily suspended to help keep both staff and customers healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

District customers can email conserve@helixwater.org to schedule an appointment. Please provide the following information:

  • Name and phone number of the person who will be on the phone
  • Water account number (if known) and/or service address
  • A brief summary of the water-related questions you would like to discuss

5 garden trends Sunset Magazine is watching in 2020

5 garden trends Sunset Magazine is watching in 2020

Photo: Sunset Magazine

If you need landscaping ideas, click on the link below and explore the five garden trends Sunset Magazine is watching this year. The article begins with a photo of a beautiful landscape of succulents and herbs that is perfect for east county, and offers lots of links to lots of ideas for firescaping, native plants, indoor and vertical gardens, and soil improvement. Enjoy.

Go to Sunset.com