Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County
University of California
Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

New video: Weed out unwanted plants to conserve water

Hand-weeding is the best option in areas where other plants are growing.
Weeds don't just look unsightly, they are also robbing other plants of water, says a UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) expert in a new water conservation video released today.

Any loss of water is a concern as California's fourth summer of drought comes to a close. Missy Gable, director of the UC Master Gardener Program, suggests removing weeds so they won't compete with ornamental plants or edible vegetables.

If weeds are scattered throughout yard and mixed in with plants, hand-weeding is probably the best eradication method. Cultivation can damage ornamentals with shallow roots, bring weed seeds to the soil surface, and propagate perennial weeds, according to the UC Integrated Pest Management Pest Note on Weed Management in Landscapes.

The new video, posted below, is the third in series of six produced by UC ANR to provide quick and simple tips for reducing water use in home landscapes. The earlier videos in the series, which can be seen on the UC ANR YouTube channel, are:

View the latest video here:

Watch for next week's video to learn the importance of mulch in water conservation.

An initiative to improve California water quality, quantity and security is part of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Strategic Vision 2025.

Posted on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 10:58 AM


Is there any information about thinning (pruning)landscape plants, to reduce transpiration, in order to conserve water? Wouldn't reducing the size of plants reduce the amount of water required to keep them alive?

Posted by John Posthauer on September 9, 2015 at 10:04 AM

Hi John,  
Pruning recommendations for landscape ornamentals is typically species specific. Often, cutting back a woody perennial can push new lateral growth on a plant. Because of this response, it is better to consider other drought gardening practices such as avoiding fertilizer, mulching generously and watering deeply.  
Best, Melissa

Posted by Melissa G. Womack on September 14, 2015 at 10:42 AM

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