You may ask why we need to save water in our yard. We have plenty of water in the Seattle region. You would be correct. We have abundant, high-quality drinking water. Despite our rainy winters, we get less rainfall than Tucson, AZ during the summer months. That’s when our reservoirs are lowest, and demand for irrigation water is highest. Choosing drought-tolerant plants, building rich soil, watering wisely, and following the other key steps will help you Save money on water bills in the following ways:
- Grow a healthy, beautiful yard and garden all year round
- Protect our environment
- Protect your family’s health by reducing the need for chemicals
- Save time maintaining your garden
Planning & Preparation
Proper planning and preparation are necessary to achieve water efficiency. Regionally, the Saving Water Partnership, in conjunction with landscape professionals in our region developed The Naturals, a series of brochures designed to assist customers in the planning, preparation and maintenance of their landscapes. We’ve described each brochure and provided a link to them for downloading ease. For more information call the Natural Lawn and Garden Hotline horticulture professionals at 206-633-0224. This is a free service for all Woodinville Water District customers.
- Smart Watering (PDF): Landscape professionals tell us that most people over-water their landscapes by as much as 200%. Learning correct watering techniques not only reduces your water bill, but it also conserves an important natural resource and improves the health of your plant material. Check out our Smart Watering brochure to make every drop count!
- Growing Healthy Soil (PDF): Did you know that by simply improving your soil, you can beautify your garden, cut your water bill, improve water quality in our streams, and even reduce your work? Growing healthy soil – and a healthy garden – is as easy as adding compost and other organic amendments to your soil. In fact, this is the single most important thing you can do for your garden. Check out our Growing Healthy Soil brochure to learn the steps you can take to improve your garden’s soil.
- Choosing the Right Plants (PDF): When you grow plants in the appropriate conditions, they thrive with minimal care. By choosing plants well adapted to each garden situation, you save time and money, reduce maintenance, help prevent pests and diseases, and leave more clean water for salmon and other wildlife. Plan now and enjoy the benefits for years to come. Our guide will take you through simple steps you can take for choosing plants that will flourish in your garden.
- Natural Lawn Care (PDF): Your lawn can be a great place to hang out, but depending on how you care for it, your lawn can also be part of big environmental problems. Healthy lawns grow on healthy soil. Using proper soil preparation and lawn maintenance practices will help to build healthy soil and vigorous, deep-rooted lawns. These lawns are more resistant to disease, tolerate some insect and drought damage, and will out-compete many weeds. The practices recommended in our Natural Lawn Care brochure can help make lawns healthier for our families, protect beneficial soil organisms, and protect our environment too.
- Natural Yard Care (PDF): Our yards are our outdoor homes: fun, beautiful, great spaces for relaxing. But in taking care of them, we often use water inefficiently, produce a lot of yard waste, and overuse chemicals that are bad for the environment and our families’ health. The good news is, by making some simple changes in how we care for our yards we can save money, time and help the environment. Find out how in this introductory brochure on Natural Yard Care. This brochure briefly explains the five steps to Natural Yard Care and provides a seasonal task list to help you get started.
- Natural Pest, Weed and Disease Control (PDF): Why manage your garden naturally? Insects, spiders, and other crawling or flying creatures are a vital part of healthy gardens. Most perform important jobs like pollinating flowers, recycling nutrients and eating pests. In fact, less than 1% of garden insects actually damage plants. Unfortunately, the pesticides often used to control pests and weeds are also toxic to beneficial garden life – and may harm people, pets, salmon, and other wildlife as well. This brochure will walk you through the basic steps to create healthy plants and soil that will not only resist pests and diseases, but also encourage beneficial garden life.
Other Efficient Outdoor Water Practices
- Wash cars using a bucket, sponge and shut-off nozzle on the hose.
- Sweep sidewalks, driveways and patios instead of hosing.
- Consider a wading pool for children instead of letting them go through the sprinkler.
- Clean gutters and downspouts manually, without using a hose.