Water conservation as the weather turns cooler

Water conservation as the weather turns cooler
Fall tips for using less water in your garden and yard           

The nights get cooler and the sun sets a little bit earlier: those of us who live us the Pacific Northwest know that means fall is here.  Even before the leaves start to turn, the cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall mean our gardens and yards are getting ready to go dormant for the winter, and less water is needed.

Here are some tips for getting your garden ready for winter, making sure your plants thrive while cutting back on your water use so you are not wasting any.

  1. Watch the weather and water less. As the temperatures decrease, less water is needed in your garden and you should be careful to not overwater. If you have been using a timer on your faucet to water regularly, you should decrease the timing of the watering or the number of days you are watering. If you water by hand, focus on watering during the evening or mornings when you expect the weather to be hot, and skip or reduce watering during rainy or cool days.
  2. Apply mulch. A layer of mulch protects plants and enriches soil, as well as reducing the amount of water your garden needs during the fall. The mulch you applied during the summer months has likely decomposed, so fall is the time to apply more. Some people even use fall leaves and garden debris as mulch material.
  3. Winterize your sprinkler system. Check to see if all your sprinkler heads are all functioning when the system is on, and check for damp spots in your yard when it’s off, as this can indicated a leak. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, check your backflow connection. Once the rain has started for good, empty your sprinkler system of water and turn it off for the season. And last, clear debris from your gutters and downspouts to prevent overflow and keep the water draining properly.


Getting your garden ready for winter is simple, helps save water and will ensure that your beds will be filled with healthy plants and beautiful flowers come spring time.