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My last water bill was more than $300 (yikes) and a quick investigation revealed one big problem — the sprinkler was watering my driveway! What I didn't know is that many irrigation clocks are set for typical lawn circuits, even if they are watering more drought-tolerant shrubs, trees, or ground cover. And sometimes your sprinkler spray heads need adjusting, so that you're not watering your driveway.
Good drainage may disguise overwatering and some plants can get too much water for a long time before showing any symptoms. A few signs to look for though are yellowing leaves and wilting, especially with California natives and Mediterranean plants. Another good test is the finger or shovel test --- dig in and feel how moist the soil is.
Experts recommend getting to know what your yard needs and how to program your clock or consulting a landscaping pro.