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The 505 Outside Blog covers topics on desert friendly landscapes practices, landscape maintenance, irrigation principles, and seasonal tips.

Plants That Thrive Under Shade Trees

Plants That Thrive Under Shade Trees

We all love the feeling of cool shade on a hot summer day, whether it comes from a dense tree canopy growing above the yard or from our home as it shades different areas throughout the day. Quite a few plants appreciate that cool space. There are many options for...

Drip Irrigation Maintenance Checklist

Drip Irrigation Maintenance Checklist

Most irrigation systems have a lifespan of 20 years before they begin to break down. If your house is older than that, most likely you are dealing with issues (water pressure, uniformity of watering, overspraying and possible leaks) that negatively affect the quality...

Be inspired by this year’s Desert Friendly Landscape Winners!

Be inspired by this year’s Desert Friendly Landscape Winners!

Congratulations to the ten winners of our first annual Water Authority Desert Friendly Landscape Contest! Thank you for sharing your beautiful gardens with us. They are an inspiration for others to make the switch to desert-friendly landscapes. The transformation of a...

5 Steps to Stunning Fall Container Gardens

5 Steps to Stunning Fall Container Gardens

Containers are an easy way to add a splash of color to your garden, porch, balcony or patio, without ever having to dig a hole in our hard New Mexico soil. While you could drop pansies or geraniums in a pot and consider it complete, you could also plant a truly...

Gro-Low Sumac, Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-Low’

Gro-Low Sumac, Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-Low’

Type: Groundcover Exposure: Full Sun Water Use: Low Mature Size: 2’ x 6’ Gro-Low Sumac is a low-growing shrub that offers a spectacular display of red in the fall.  A fast-growing groundcover, it is an excellent choice for quickly covering unstable soils. It is...

Sharing space with our feathered friends

Sharing space with our feathered friends

All species are in constant need of habitat in which to dwell that gives the next generation a chance to thrive. It is easy to share your space with wildlife and provide crucial habitat for birds. If you have a yard with non-native grass (or one full of gravel), you...

Be inspired by this year’s Desert Friendly Landscape Winners!

Be inspired by this year’s Desert Friendly Landscape Winners!

Congratulations to the ten winners of our first annual Water Authority Desert Friendly Landscape Contest! Thank you for sharing your beautiful gardens with us. They will be an inspiration for others to make the switch to desert-friendly landscapes. Succulent Garden...

Hyssop, Agastache

Hyssop, Agastache

Type: Flowering plant Exposure: Full Sun Water Use: Medium Mature Size: 24” x 24” As its nickname “hummingbird mint” suggests, Agastache is a reliable perennial for attracting pollinators and hummingbirds to your garden. Soft masses of colorful tubular flowers tower...

Be inspired by this year’s Desert Friendly Landscape Winners!

Be inspired by this year’s Desert Friendly Landscape Winners!

Congratulations to the ten winners of our first annual Water Authority Desert Friendly Landscape Contest! Thank you for sharing your beautiful gardens with us. They will be an inspiration for others to make the switch to desert-friendly landscapes. A Garden for the...

Luxury Consumers in Your Yard

Luxury Consumers in Your Yard

In these long, hot days of summer, especially if the summer rains don’t come, many plants really suffer from a lack of water. By incorporating native and very adapted plants into the landscape, we can still have attractive landscapes that don’t require a lot of...

How to Propagate Cacti

How to Propagate Cacti

Propagating cacti is as easy as one, two, three. Remove a pad from an existing cactus. Heavy gloves are your friends. For Cholla, use tongs to grab a stalk. 2. Set cuttings out to dry until the fresh ends of the cut callus over, which is usually in a week or two. 3....

Local Desert Friendly Landscapes Reveal

Local Desert Friendly Landscapes Reveal

Congrats to the ten winners of our first annual Water Authority Desert Friendly Landscape Contest! Thank you for sharing your beautiful gardens with us. They will be an inspiration for others to make the switch to desert-friendly landscapes. A transformation from an...

Black Dalea, Dalea frutescens

Black Dalea, Dalea frutescens

Type: Deciduous shrub Exposure: Full Sun Water Use: Low Mature Size: 2’ x 4’ This low-growing native shrub is an excellent choice for compact spaces in the desert- friendly garden. The texture of its soft fern-like leaves contrasts well against desert accent plants....

Easy Edible Plants for First-Time Growers

Easy Edible Plants for First-Time Growers

One hundred years ago, almost every house with a yard had a vegetable garden. This was before the era of mass-produced, well-traveled foods readily available in the big grocery stores. People grew these gardens out of necessity. The whole family joined in, breathing...

Maintaining and cleaning spray nozzles

Maintaining and cleaning spray nozzles

It’s irrigation season. If you have a grass lawn with spray heads, it’s time to check out your system to make sure it is running smoothly. Run a one-minute test program on the controller and visually examine each zone. Look for broken, leaning, or clogged sprinkler...

DIY a Hose Watering System

DIY a Hose Watering System

The most efficient way to water your yard is by using an automatic system. Hand watering can be problematic because it can lead to inconsistent watering, causing you to overwater, underwater, or forget to water altogether. If you are ready to invest in a more...

Knowing Your Watering Depth is Key to Growing Healthy Plants

Knowing Your Watering Depth is Key to Growing Healthy Plants

The most important part of watering is figuring out how deep you need to water your plants. Once you figure that out, you can easily follow our chart that tells you how often to water. Here are six simple steps to figuring out your watering depth: Step...

8 Steps to Planting a Healthy Plant

8 Steps to Planting a Healthy Plant

With spring fast approaching and many homeowners heading out to local plant nurseries, we want to remind you how to plant for a healthy plant. Choosing the right plant for the right place is the most important consideration. Once you’ve selected the perfect...

Pro tips for designing your spray system

Pro tips for designing your spray system

Since the Albuquerque area receives about 9” of rain on average per year and grass lawns can use up to 50” of water per year, the proper design of an irrigation system for a grass lawn is of utmost importance when it comes to water efficiency. Irrigation efficiency...

Climate Ready Landscapes!

Climate Ready Landscapes!

We are living in a time when our climate is going through rapid changes. Winter days have gotten warmer, and very cold nights are decreasing in number. The decrease in snowpack and early snowmelt that volatilizes before it soaks into the soil are creating drier...

How to convert your existing spray irrigation system to drip!

How to convert your existing spray irrigation system to drip!

Typical Spray Irrigation system One of the biggest obstacles holding homeowners back from removing their high-water turfgrass and installing xeriscape is believing that setting up the irrigation system is difficult. Luckily, it is not as hard as you may think. If you...

Make getting a Xeriscape rebate your New Year’s resolution!

Make getting a Xeriscape rebate your New Year’s resolution!

The desert friendly xeriscape conversion incentive rebate has been around since the early ’90s and is still going strong. Millions of square feet of thirsty lawns have been converted to healthy xeriscapes that save billions of gallons of water. Although the xeriscape...

Watering in winter

Watering in winter

Baby, it’s cold outside. Or is it? How do you water during the cold and dry winter season? The weather predictions are in, and we are headed into a very dry La Niña winter season. This means we need to water our plants this winter in order to keep them healthy. Due to...

The water conservation gift that keeps on giving

The water conservation gift that keeps on giving

What is a smart irrigation controller and why would you want one as a gift? The Water Authority’s irrigation efficiency specialist Richard Perce says, “While an irrigation controller is a must for your landscape, a smart controller adjusts your watering based on...

Compost del Rio Grande

Compost del Rio Grande

In 1988, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority’s started a composting facility for biosolids produced. 505Outside recently visited the Soil Amendment Facility to check out the “Compost Del Rio Grande.” Water Authority compost is unlike any other in...

November is for protecting your irrigation system

November is for protecting your irrigation system

During this time of year, plants store most of their nutrients in the roots and find shelter in the ground. Also, this is the time of year to winterize your irrigation system. To avoid damage to your irrigation system we recommend setting it to the OFF position. Since...

Types of Mulches

Types of Mulches

Mulch is any material laid on the surface of the soil to improve growing conditions. Mulch insulates plant roots from both heat and cold, reducing moisture loss from the soil by evaporation, feeding beneficial soil microorganisms that enhance plant growth, and...

Frontier Elm, Ulmus ‘frontier’

Frontier Elm, Ulmus ‘frontier’

Exposure: Full Sun Water: Medium Height and Spread: H 40' X W 30' Fall Color: Reddish Purple The Siberian elm tree, the quintessential tree in Albuquerque, was originally introduced by Mayor Clyde Tingley. It is a beautiful tree that’s almost...

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Water Conservation Program
P.O. Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0568

www.abcwua.org

505-842-WATR  Option 4

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P.O. Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0568
505-842-WATR