The starter vegetables are out, the flowers are in bloom, and the lilacs already smell sweeter at the Rail City Garden Center in Sparks.

"Our business is booming!" said owner Pawl Hollis. "We are an entire month ahead of schedule with everything here."

Part of that is due to the fact that we really didn't have much winter this year. And that has complicated watering schedules. Not much run off or winter water has meant that trees have needed hand watering. And now the plants going in will need water too.

"We have a lot of people taking grass out. I'd say that is the biggest thing I've noticed," Hollis said. "They are putting in pavers or raised gardens  or even plastic turf, but they are taking the grass out."

That's exactly what Lauren Gnibus did. She did it a few years ago but is now looking for other ways to cut back.

"I took out a huge chunk of the lawn," the Sparks homeowner tells me. "I have a three level yard and now I'm looking at plastic turf for one area and pavers for the other. It's too hard and expensive to keep up so much yard in a drought."    

As for the vegetables, there are some that are more drought resistant but in general Hollis says vegetables for backyard gardeners are a constant. What's changing is that raised beds and the use of mulch is cutting down on the water for everything.

"Mulch is key," Hollis says. "It really is a big seller and it's important to keeping more water on the plants longer. It's absorbs it and helps stretch the water you're already using."