Concerned about your garden or landscape because of the dry weather we have been experiencing? The right plants and wise water use support the success of growing plants and trees during times of water restrictions.

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Concerned about your garden or landscape because of the dry weather we have been experiencing? The right plants and wise water use support the success of growing plants and trees during times of water restrictions.

While we all should regularly practice water conservation, homeowners in most areas of the state won’t be subject to water restrictions this year because the majority of public water systems are not reporting problems currently and not anticipating problems with their water supplies. Nevertheless, we can all benefit from some practical advice about wise water use.

So, if you’re thinking about adding plants to your garden, installing a new landscape or looking to protect your current garden or landscape, here are a few water-smart solutions to help you get started.

Prepare your site and apply mulch. A well-prepared site will support a healthy and sustainable landscape. Consider using compost and applying a top dressing of mulch as it reduces water needs, is attractive and over time will improve soil structure. Additional resources can be found at your local nursery, garden center or landscape business.

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Select plants that thrive. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we enjoy a wide selection of drought-tolerant plants. While many native plants fit this category, it is important to understand they are not necessarily the only answer. Consult your local independent nursery or landscape professional for advice on proper plant selection for regionally adapted plants and trees.

The Great Plant Picks website is another great resource. Great Plant Picks offers a list of 891 perennials, shrubs and trees proven for success in our maritime climate. These selections can be found at local nurseries and garden centers throughout Washington.

Water and irrigate efficiently. Use only as much water as needed for plants and be sure to group plants together with similar watering needs. Ensure that your irrigation management system features the latest technology, including smart controllers and sensor times, and incorporates drip irrigation. A properly designed, installed and maintained irrigation system is a highly effective means of sustaining landscapes and lawns. It is a good investment to consult a landscape professional regarding an audit and update to your irrigation system. Contact a landscape professional regarding an irrigation audit to ensure your system’s efficiency.

Consider permeable hardscape. Homeowners installing hard surfaces in their landscapes may want to consider pavers or other porous materials rather than concrete. Pavers and porous surfaces allow penetration of rainfall into the ground. Consult your local independent nursery or landscape professional, Certified Professional Horticulturist or ecoPRO Certified Sustainable Landscape Professional.

Nursery and landscape professionals are equipped with knowledge and expertise to assist homeowners to protect plants and trees and help with sustainable landscape practices.

Planting trees, flowers and shrubs not only increases the value of your property but benefits the environment by:

  • Reducing stormwater runoff and suspended solids in surface water runoff.
  • Removing sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter from the air.

In fact, one tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, equaling 11,000 miles of car emissions.

While water restrictions may occur in some areas with the hot, dry summer forecast in most of Washington, you don’t have to give up on the plants you love, provide value to your home and environment. Contact your local landscape nursery or landscape professional on plant selections that thrive with minimal watering needs and offer water wise solutions at wsnla.org.

ADVERTISER INFO: Washington State Nursery & Landscape AssociationWebsite: http://www.wsnla.org