Seasonal Yard Care
During the summer, water demand in our area increases by about 60%, mostly due to outdoor water use. Unfortunately, about half of this water is wasted due to overwatering. You can water less and save money while maintaining a beautiful, healthy landscape.
Follow these simple tips:
- Water early in the day when less water gets lost to evaporation.
- Don’t overwater — To stay green, most lawns only need one inch of water per week. Or you can choose to “go golden” and water just once per month. Dormant lawns are still alive and will bounce back in the fall.
- Plant appropriately for sun or shade (right plant; right place).
- Group plants according to their water needs.
- Use native plants adapted to our region’s climate.
- Install a smart irrigation controller to take the guesswork out of watering. Smart controllers calculate when and how much to water, based on weather, climate, plants, and soil type. We offer a rebate on WaterSense-labeled products.
Prep your irrigation system for the watering season
Clear sprinkler heads of debris.
Check for leaks and tighten or replace connections that drip (even small leaks can waste a lot of water).
Aim sprinkler heads toward only the areas you want to water.
Update your system’s watering schedule to align with the season.
For more practical tips on maintaining healthy lawns, shrubs and gardens, see the following resources:
- Spring Yard Care
In the Pacific Northwest, our springs can be dry or wet, so part of waking up your yard is keeping an eye on the weather. Plants that get enough water now won’t get stressed and will be more resilient during the dry heat of late summer. Here are a few tips and reminders for spring.
- Add mulch to help keep the soil cool and moist and suppress thirsty weeds that draw water away from plants. Different kinds of mulch look and act quite differently, so take the time to figure out which type works best for your needs.
- Add compost to your lawn and garden. Spring is a great time to add nutrients to your soil with a compost blend like TAGRO.
- Inspect, connect, direct, and select your sprinkler system now, so it’s ready to go when you need it. Look for any puddle on your property; this could indicate a misdirected sprinkler head or, even worse, a leak.
- Wait to turn on your irrigation system until you need it, during the first dry week. Plants that get adequate water now will be more prepared to survive on fewer, deeper waterings during the summer.
- Fall Yard Care
Practical tips for fall
When the seasons change, so should your yard care. Devoting a little extra time to cleaning up your yard this fall will make all the difference next spring. You can maintain a healthy landscape without wasting water, which may reduce your water bill and save you money.
Follow these tips for fall yard care:
- Remove the leaves from your lawn. They block light, trap moisture and may kill the grass underneath. Add them to your compost pile or as mulch around trees.
- Fertilize lawns to improve root structure to better withstand summer heat.
- Put your garden to bed by cutting back, cleaning, planting and protecting.
- Plant trees and shrubs so their roots establish themselves over the winter. Get a $30 off coupon for a tree at participating nurseries.
- Slow down and winterize your irrigation to prevent overwatering in the colder months.
- Winter Yard Care
There is not much yard care to be done during the cold months of winter, but you don’t want to ignore it. Maintaining a healthy landscape year-round can reduce your water bill to save you money. To ensure your yard will be in good shape come springtime, follow these tips.
- Shut off and winterize your outdoor irrigation system and other water fixtures.
- Disconnect your garden hoses from hose bibs. Circle up the hose into a big roll and attach the ends together. This way, nothing can get inside the hose while you store it.
- Shut off and drain outside faucets. Take a walk around your yard looking for any plumbing fixtures. If your hose bibs have individual shut off valves, turn off the water supply and open hose bibs to drain faucets.
- Insulate exposed pipes, valves and hose bibs. That includes pipes that are outdoors, in attics, crawl spaces, basements and garages. Your local hardware store has a variety of insulation materials to choose from.
- Remove the leaves and branches from your lawn. Leaves on the lawn block sunlight, which can kill the grass. Add them to your compost pile or as mulch around trees. After a storm or windy day, walk around your lawn to pick up any fallen branches.