Castlegar’s Water Smart ambassador was at the Castlegar Garden and Nature Fest. Photo: Betsy Kline

Castlegar residents encouraged to water smarter

Water Smart Ambassador will come to your home for a free assessment.

Genevieve Bergeron is asking area residents to water smarter.

As the Water Smart ambassador for Castlegar and the RDCK, Bergeron is out in the community at public events and at resident’s homes spreading the water conservation message.

Area residents have the option of booking a personal water assessment that includes a soil assessment, plant assessment, plant location advice, a watering plan and a free hose timer. For Castlegar residents, she can also check to see if you have a leak in your water system.

Bergeron says that the biggest problems locally are selecting the wrong plant species and over watering.

“A lot of times people’s plants are starting to die because they are being over watered and they are not mulched. The soil is cooking their plant’s roots, so you need to mulch to prevent that,” said Bergeron.

She also says that watering in the middle of the day will end up killing your grass.

“It is the worst thing you can do,” said Bergeron. “No watering between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.”

Starting Saturday, Castlegar residents would also be breaking the city’s watering bylaw, which prohibits watering those hours.

She recommends watering 30 minutes a week for most lawns, increasing that to 45 minutes in August if it is hot and dry. This will encourage deeper root growth which will mean a healthier lawn.

“Soil plays an important role in healthy plants. When your soil is poor and you haven’t amended it with compost or mulch on top, your plants are going to struggle,” said Bergeron.

“There should be no exposed soil.”

The RDCK has commissioned a demonstration garden this year near the Crescent Valley Beach.

The garden features plants that will survive in the West Kootenay with just the amount of rain that we receive. There will be no irrigation at the garden.

“It is to show residents what species do great in that setting by employing native species and a mix of international species,” explained Bergeron.

The garden also showcases three drought tolerant lawn features.

To book a free water assessment call 250-365-8990.

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