Pacific Northwest summers are renowned for plentiful sunshine, warm temperatures, and outdoor activities like gardening. But summer is also peak drought and wildfire season, when rainfall is sparse and water conservation is critical.
As a national leader in carbon-free energy, Snohomish County PUD is one of the most environmentally conscious utilities in the nation. That awareness extends to water use as the PUD supplies drinking water to more than 21,000 customers. To keep your yard green and conserve water, consider a WaterWise Garden. You can reduce maintenance and lower your water bills with these six garden planning steps.
- What do you want?
If you’re unsure, break this step into a series of smaller questions. What are your conservation goals? How will you use your garden? How much time can you spend maintaining it?
- What do you already have?
Draw a map of your yard to help you scale your garden. Be sure to include buildings, existing plants, borders, and pavement. Remember to note where your water sources are located.
- How will your garden lay out?
Place tracing paper on top of your map to outline what you’d like your new garden or yard to look like. Consider the questions you asked yourself in Step 1 as you design. Refer to local building codes and regulations for setbacks, height limits and building permit requirements.
- How much water will different areas need?
On your tracing paper, outline zones of high and low water use. Annual beds and lawns require frequent watering. Shrubs and perennials are more drought tolerant.
- What’s the best way to structure your garden?
Arrange planting areas into a year-round structure that defines use areas, moderates sun and wind, and screens unwanted views. A variety of plants can help tie spaces together and create a lush feeling. Trees and shrubs can help define spaces and provide a sense of enclosure. Shrubs are also low maintenance and can offer year-round interest with flowers, foliage and fruits.
- Which plants will do well?
Shrubs, perennials and evergreens are great for water conservation, and there are many to choose from! The experts at your local nursery will gladly provide you with options that meet your needs, or call the Snohomish County Master Gardeners at (425) 357-6010.
For more PUD water and money saving tips, click here.