Despite considerable amounts of moisture this winter, as of May 3, 2016, Reno-Sparks is still in an extreme drought. Though we do not currently have any additional water restrictions, we should always be actively conserving water. If you are planning to sell your home, drought conditions don't mean you have to sacrifice the beauty of your yard. Just follow these tips to ensure your curb appeal stands out to prospective home buyers.
1. Know Your Growing Zone. The Reno-Sparks area is in growing zone 7a. When shopping at a local garden center, check the tags on plants to make sure they will grow in our area so you don't end up with plants that can't make it through our dry, warm summers. Also check the "hardy-to" temperatures on the plant tags. If you purchase plants that are only cold hardy to 30 degrees, you'll want to protect these plants during freezes. If you'd rather not go it alone, check in with one of our local nurseries. Many of their staff are trained in native plants and can help you pick plants that bloom at specific times of the year, have a color scheme, or attract butterflies and bees. Let them know the size and location of the space you're working in and they will often help you come up with a design that works best for your space.
2. Lawn Maintenance. If you do have a lawn, make sure it is well- maintained. If you're not up to mowing, edging, managing weeds and fertilizing your lawn, hire a lawn service for the duration that your home is on the market. This is often the first impression many potential home buyers will have of your property. A well maintained, fertilized lawn will need less water than an unhealthy lawn. Lawn maintenance companies will also be able to evaluate your sprinkler system to make sure there are no leaks and the water is being used as efficiently as possible.
3. Hardscape. If you'd rather not deal with the hassle lawn maintenance, you may be considering hardscape. While paving over everything might seem like the easiest option, non-permeable material like concrete will just send the water into the street. Permeable materials like gravel or decorative rock can send the water to nearby lawns or ground cover while preventing neighborhood flooding.
4. Smart Irrigation. Rather than watering multiple times a day in short bursts, two deep waterings on your designated watering day will be the most effective and most efficient. If you won't be living in your home while it's listed, consider investing in a rain-smart irrigation system that senses rain and adjusts the watering cycle.