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They probably will need water.

We tell you what to look for – and how – so you know for sure if your plants need water.

A Typical Winter

Irrigation is normally turned off in the winter.
Plants need less water during that time.
The soil is cool and moisture evaporates more slowly

Moreover, an average rainy season is sufficient for plant needs for moisture

This Warm, Dry Winter Requires a Different Plan

A tenacious high pressure ridge is firmly in place, pushing rain further and further north.
With no probability of wet stuff in the near future, follow the advice below.
It will help you know for sure, which plants will need water.

These Plants Will Need Water First

Young Plants
Their water needs are higher than mature plants. 

Container Plants
Moisture evaporates more quickly when plants are in containers

But don’t guess. Know for sure.

1. Purchase a soil probe

Where to buy one?
Online or at your neighborhood garden center.

Get one with a footstep it will be easier on your body. (see photo below)
How you will know for sure if your plant needs water.
Push the probe from 4-10″ deep into the soil.
Make sure the probe goes all the way down to the plant root.
Otherwise you won’t know for sure
Pull the probe out.
Look at the tip for evidence of moisture.
The moisture or lack of it will tell you if the plant needs water. 

2. Visual Observation

Notice if your plants are drooping. 
This can be misleading because plants that are drooping could also have a different problem. You could have a drainage problem.
That is why a soil probe is important.

That’s it!



Bella Vista is beautiful apartment complex in Richmond.  It is the winner of the GEMM (Greater Excellence in Management and Maintenance) Awards of the Greater East Bay.  The property is 40 acres and much of the landscaping is turf.  When Gardeners’ Guild started its service, May, 2009, Bella Vista had high water bills and the management also wanted to build a greener community.

We began work to make Bella Vista’s irrigation more efficient and were successful in lowering water consumption by performing the following:

  • Rigorous irrigation monitoring and adjusted controllers to meet seasonal needs
  • Fixing irrigation breaks
  • Repairing broken hardware
  • Capping irrigation in places that didn’t require watering

The results were dramatic!

Bella Vista enjoyed a 53% reduction in water usage from 2008 to 2010 and saved approximately $45,891

It is a testament to the advice we have given over the years to our clients.  The first step in water conservation is to do a thorough irrigation diagnostic to ensure that it is running efficiently.

To learn more about

Bella Vista

Bella Vista, see their website: