Outdoor Water Conservation – Part 3

You can have a healthy landscape and conserve water.  Plant the right plant in the right place, design and maintain your landscape for efficient water use!  Conserve water and save money when you become WaterSmart!*


  • Proper mulch is the key to preventing water loss from your soil, reducing the need for supplemental irrigation and completing the overall attractiveness of your landscape
  • Apply approximately two inches of mulch, or five inches of pine straw, under ornamental plants in the landscape (avoid applying too much mulch because it encourages shallow roots)
  • Place newspapers on the soil under organic mulch at planting time to improve water conservation in the soil, thoroughly soak newspapers after applying mulch
  • Extend mulched areas two to three times the canopy spread of ornamental trees and shrubs
  • Once mulch is in place, use your hand to pull it back 3 inches from the trunk of trees and shrubs (this will help prevent stem rotting diseases)
  • Don’t add organic matter to individual planting holes for trees and shrubs. Organic matter encourages roots to stay in the hole instead of growing out.

*WaterSmart is a water conservation education program initiated by the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority (CCMWA). Its mission is to educate about the importance of indoor and outdoor water conservation so that all residents can help make a difference and be WaterSmart!