Smart Lawn and Garden Watering
Watering tips for your summer landscape!
Every yard and its watering system is different, and each yard’s watering needs depend on a number of factors like soil type, plant species and sunlight exposure. Here are a few simple tips for efficient watering:
Avoid daily watering. Watering every day results in shallow-rooted plants that struggle to retain water during dry periods.
Water deeply and infrequently. Watering your lawn two or three times a week should be sufficient. This causes your grass roots to grow deeper into the soil to find water, which helps them survive during dry weather. If you have an automatic irrigation system, use the “cycle and soak” features on your controller to allow water to filter through the soil gradually. This also controls runoff and minimizes water waste flowing into storm drains. If you use hoses, choose a sprinkler that covers your landscape with large water drops, rather than one that sends mist into the air. Oscillating sprinklers are good because they spread larger water drops than other sprinklers.
Water in the morning or evenings. This will help you avoid water loss due to evaporation. About 30 percent of water used during the heat of the day turns to vapor and is lost to the atmosphere. Watering before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. can help conserve water and might help lower your water bill.
Many shrubs can get by with minimal summer watering. If a shrub has been established in your yard for a year or two, it can get by with minimal watering. Unless you see wilting or yellow and brown leaves, they should be fine.
Golden lawns will come back with the autumn rains. If you let the lawn go golden in the summer, remember a dormant lawn still still needs water about once a month to survive, especially during hot, dry summers.
Tune up your automatic sprinkler system. Do a monthly check to find and repair leaks, make sure your sprinklers are watering plant material and not paved areas, and make sure you set your controller run times to avoid excessive watering.
Remember to get your backflow assembly tested annually! A backflow assembly prevents potentially contaminated water from being pulled back into the drinking water supply. This testing is required by the Washington Department of Health. Sammamish Plateau Water maintains a list of local and certified testing professionals. To learn more about this requirement or to view the list of backflow assembly testers, visit our “Cross Connections and Backflow Prevention” page.
Additional Landscape Watering Resources:
Sammamish Plateau Water recommends using irrigation contractors, designers and auditors certified by the Irrigation Assocaiation. Learn more here: Irrigation Association - Hire Certified!