San Diego

Saving Money on Water After Heavy Rain

Wait before turning on the sprinklers

Heavy downpours across Southern California this weekend may help some make their water bill a little lighter this month.

San Diego resident Shelley Stapley said the weekend rain was great for the soil in her tomato garden.

"It is saturated; the soil is wet," said Stapley. She usually waters her plants by hand but now she's waiting a while before watering again.

"Less water, less money for the bill because water is really expensive," said Stapley.

California drought regulations ban watering for 48 hours after a rain, but Mark Mahady with Walter Andersen Nursery said most homeowners should wait longer than that.

"Most established plants will need no water for another week," said Mahady. He told NBC 7 lawns can go more than a week without water after a soaking rain. Fruit trees can go two weeks. As for vegetable gardens?

"If they are in containers, maybe you will have to water a little sooner," said Mahady, "But I can almost assure you those peppers and tomatoes don't have to be watered until next week.

The trick is to check the soil around your plants. By digging down a few inches you can see if the soil is still holding moisture. There are also moisture meters that can probe into the soil.

The heavy rain is not only good for saving money, the rain water is also better for your plants. It helps rinse out salts from the soil.

But while the rain will help your lawn and garden, there is a downside. The rain will also encourage the growth of weeds.

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