Outdoor water use in our area increases dramatically in the summer. This is primarily due to lawn watering. Here are some basic steps to take that can significantly reduce your water use.
Do not over water your lawn. If water is running off your lawn and into the street, cut back. Lawns typically need one-inch of water per week in the hottest part of the summer, less when it is cooler. Call the Garden Hotline at (206) 633-0224or email firstname.lastname@example.org during the lawn watering season for daily watering recommendations.
Water slowly so that the water can seep into the soil. This will encourage the lawn to develop deeper roots. For some lawns, it may be best to “cycle and soak”. Break your irrigation run time into three equal parts with a 15-minute interval between watering. This will allow your lawn to absorb more water and minimize runoff.
Most shrubs and trees need less water than grass so water them separately from the lawn and less often. Use plenty of mulch around shrubs and in beds to minimize evaporation.
Water in the early morning and in the evening, and avoid watering on windy days. This will minimize evaporation.
Make sure your irrigation system is in good working order. Leaks or misaligned sprinkler heads can waste a lot of water.
Be flexible with your watering schedule. Do not water your lawn while it is raining and consider how much rain has already fallen before watering. Northshore provides free rain gauges for our customers. Get one here.
Cut your grass high and frequently rather than short. It will retain water better and look greener as a result.
Do not over fertilize, and use an organic or slow-release fertilizer.
Consider removing part of your lawn and replacing it with drought tolerant plant species.
Use a broom rather than a hose to wash off the driveway or sidewalk.
Use a nozzle on the hose when washing the car – do not let the water continue to run.
Avoid or limit children's toys that waste lots of water. If you use a wading pool, reuse the water on the lawn or other plants.
Have you found other ways to save water in your home? Let us know at (425) 398-4417 or email us.