Life really is different in San Diego than just about anywhere else in the country, because we don’t have to stop what we’re doing and wait for winter to go by. Surfers keep surfing and gardeners keep gardening. In fact, fall and winter are the best time in San Diego to plant water-efficient flowers, shrubs, groundcovers and trees.

We recommend planting this time of year so that winter storms provide some of the water your new plants need. This matters, because for the first 6-12 months of a plant’s life, it’s not water-efficient. It needs water the same way a growing kid needs three bowls of cereal after school.

If you’re not ready right now and planned to work on your water efficient landscape next spring, don’t worry. We’ll help you up the learning curve. We’ll start this week — on Wednesday evening — and you’ll be ready to plant just after Thanksgiving.

All you have to do right now is reserve your spot in the upcoming series of free, online workshops hosted by the San Diego County Water Authority and funded by the County of San Diego’s Watershed Protection Program. Here’s the schedule.

Design: Shape Your Space
Wednesday, October 20 at 5:30 p.m.
Ensuring your new landscape is well-integrated into your personal lifestyle is the goal of this session. Our landscape expert will show you how to plan for the functionality of your new space and provide tips to achieve a design style that fits your personal style.

Plants: Inspiring Choices for Our Region
Wednesday, November 3 at 5:30 p.m.

This session illustrates how a low-water-use landscape can be an upgrade, not a compromise. Our landscape expert will teach you about plants and why some are more water efficient than others. You’ll be introduced to attractive, WaterSmart plant palettes and learn how to research and choose plants that fit your design theme.

Water and Irrigation: Utilizing a Precious Resource
Wednesday, November 17 at 5:30 p.m.

This session will give you strategies to use our limited water sources wisely, including integrating stormwater capture elements into your landscape and conserving water through simple irrigation system retrofits. Our landscape expert’s goal is to help you create a sustainable landscape that loves San Diego as much you do.

Installation and Maintenance: Protecting Your Investment
Wednesday, December 1 at 5:30 p.m.

After planning your new garden space, it’s time to learn how to protect your investment. Our landscape expert will give you strategies for success when removing your turf, installing your new landscape and maintaining it. You’ll learn how to minimize your water use and maximize your enjoyment of an outdoor space that suits your lifestyle.

Before Covid-19, Helix hosted these workshops. The instructors and the content are fantastic and this series is the express lane to your new landscape.

Register at watersmartsd.org.

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