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Water-wise gardening.

Conserving water is good for the environment, plus it saves you time and money. Here are some smart watering practices to try today:

1. Group plants with similar watering needs. This reduces the likelihood of wasting water on neighboring plants that don't need it.

2. Apply mulch. Doing so an inch or two around plants helps conserve soil moisture. Try organic mulches such as grass clippings or shredded leaves. Eventually, these break down and enrich the soil.

3. Avoid overhead sprinklers. Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems instead. These devices deliver water fight where it's needed--around the plant's root zone--and with less evaporation and runoff.

4. Select drought-tolerant plants: California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), catmint (Nepeta x faassenii), lantana (Lantana camara), snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum), and yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender buds
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves or 2 teaspoons
 dried mint

Combine lavender flowers and mint in a teapot.
Pour in 1 cup boiling water and steep for 5 minutes
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Title Annotation:Notes from the Field
Author:Liska, Rachael
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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