Water to the Weather

According to the Regional Water Providers Consortium, the Portland metro area can use two to three times as much water in the summer months as in the winter months due to our dry Mediterranean-like summers. Hard to imagine with the wet winter we’ve had. The greatest waste of water is watering too much, too often, which isn’t good for the lawn, plants or planet. To help us conserve water, the Consortium derived The Weekly Watering Number, which is the amount of water in inches that your lawn will need each week based on changing weather conditions. Not surprising, it’s telling me that I don’t need to water my lawn! The number can also be used for other types of plants by using these general guidelines:

Shrubs & Perennials – adjust to 50% of the Weekly Watering Number
Vegetables – adjust to 75% of the Weekly Watering Number

Get the Weekly Watering Number emailed to you each week to help guide your water use. Other things to consider: (1) never apply water at a faster rate than will soak into your soil (Mother Nature hasn’t learned this lesson in my garden!), instead divide your watering time to ensure water is getting to the roots where it is needed; (2) if the water doesn’t penetrate the soil well, the lawn may need to be aerated or de-thatched; and (3) water early in the morning, if you can, to keep evaporation to a minimum (watering in the evening is the next best time). In general, water thoroughly, but infrequently to help roots go deeper, resulting in more water-efficient, drought-tolerant plants and grass.