Helping Your Yard Drink Responsibly (And Look Good)

Up to 70% of your home water use may be currently used in your landscape, but there are ways to increase efficiency while maintaining or improving the health of your landscape plants.

Tempe offers two training programs to help our customers achieve their landscape goals, the Tempe Desert Lush Workshop series (geared to residents) and the SmartScape training program (geared towards landscape professionals). See the appropriate section below for classes offered through each program. 


Tempe Desert Lush Workshops (Now Updated with the Fall 2018 Schedule!)

Tempe offers FREE landscape workshops for residents twice a year, in the spring and fall. The workshops teach residents how to beautify their yards while conserving water through xeriscaping. Each workshop is taught by an expert and located at the SRP Education Center at the Eisendrath House Complex (1400 N. College Ave.) or the Tempe Public Library (3500 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282). Register for workshops through the WaterSmart Customer Portal or call (480) 350-8351. Walk-ins are welcome, but space is not guaranteed.

workshop classroom

  • Creating a Desert Lush Landscape Part 1 and 2: Learn the basics of designing a home landscape that is attractive, functional, and sustainable. Struggling with plant selection, plant combination, or how to make the most of your landscape space? Over two workshop sessions, participants will learn about the landscape design process, principles, and techniques from design concept to finished landscapes. Concepts will be useful to those creating a new landscape or renovating an existing one. Class participants are encouraged to bring their own yard layouts. Designing in harmony with the Sonoran Desert will be emphasized. This is part 1 of a two part class, and it will cover the principals and design aspects of a desert-friendly landscape. Located at the Eisendrath House and offered on September 22 (Part 1) and October 6 (Part 2) from 9am-1pm.
  • Landscape Watering by the Numbers: How much should you water your plants? This class will help you figure out how long and how often to water your plants using the Watering by the Numbers method. Located at the Tempe Library and offered on October 20 from 10am-11am.
  • The Giving Tree: Caring for Our Young and Old Growth Trees: Learn basic tree care. Trees provide us with so many benefits, from cleaning our air to keeping us cool. Protect our leafy friends by learning about proper selection, planting, and maintenance. Topics will also include caring for old growth trees with changing landscapes and drought conditions. Located at the Tempe Library and offered twice (identical classes):
    • October 20 from 11am-1pm OR
    • November 17 from 12pm-2pm
  • Rainwater Harvesting and Greywater 101: Learn how to harvest rainwater and greywater for beneficial use in the landscape. When paired with desert-friendly plants, rainwater harvesting systems in the landscape can reduce outdoor water use while also creating an outdoor oasis for the benefit of people, animals, and the planet. Located at the Eisendrath House and offered on October 27 from 9am-1pm.
    • Cisterns and Rain Barrels:  Learn how to take your rainwater harvesting to the next level with cisterns and rain barrels. The workshops will include a live rain barrel building demonstration. The first 20 attendees in each class will also receive a free 55-gallon barrel, generously donated by Swire Coca Cola. Located at the Eisendrath House and offered twice on November 3:
      • 9am-11am OR
      • 11am-1pm (Identical Class)
    • Water-Wise Edible Gardening: Learn how to grow edibles in the desert using sustainable practices, while also saving water and recycling in the garden. We'll focus on edibles that can be planted in the fall and that are available through the Tempe Seed Library. Located at the Tempe Library and offered on November 17 from 10am-12pm.
    • Irrigation System Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair: Proper maintenance is key to managing an irrigation system that keeps your plants healthy while keeping water waste and utility bills low. Learn how to troubleshoot and prevent problems with basic irrigation systems, including drip, sprinkler, and bubbler systems. Located at the Eisendrath House and offered on December 1 from 9am-1pm. 


    SmartScape Professional Training

    Smartscape is a water conservation training program specifically designed for professionals in the landscape industry. A range of students seek Smartscape training, including landscape designers, supervisors, and crew members from professional landscaping companies; municipal employees, and Homeowners Associations board members. Classes cover essential topics and important skills for planning, planting, and caring for low-water-use landscapes in the Sonoran Desert. 

    • Smartscape 101: This series of eight, 2.5 hour workshops will take professionals through eight key topics of water-wise landscape management, including plants, soil, and water; landscape water management and irrigation controllers; drip irrigation design and installation; pruning; desert adapted plants maintenance, plant selection and installation; plant problems; and more. Smartscape 101 is offered February and July of each year. Register for upcoming workshops quickly, as they fill up.
    • Smartscape AdvancedThis series builds upon the Smartscape 101 series with 15 hours of in-depth instruction on the design, installation, and maintenance of drip and sprinkler irrigation systems. Attendees should have completed the Smartscape 101 series or have a basic knowledge of irrigation systems design, installation, operation, and maintenance.This class is offered every April. 
    • Smartscape 101 SpanishThis Smartscape 101 class is taught completely in Spanish. Email or call (602) 827-8206 to register.