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Fall colors, green lawns

News Article
Even though it’s autumn and the rain has started to fall, it’s still a great time to think about your daily water consumption. Here are a few tips to keep your landscape resilient and efficient this season.
Published
tree with yellow leaves in autumn in front of a reservoir at mount tabor

Mulch, mulch, mulch!

Fall is a great time to mulch your landscape because it can help protect your beds from winter erosion, add nutrients to the soil, and keep unwanted weeds from growing. To be most effective, apply one to two inches of compost, leaves, or sawdust, or two to four inches of coarsely shredded bark or wood chips.

Plant waterwise plants

Now is a great time to plant water-efficient perennials, shrubs, and trees for next year’s enjoyment. Our long rainy season helps establish strong plant roots without supplemental water. Plant bulbs for beautiful spring color!

Shut off and drain your irrigation equipment

Whether you have an in-ground, drip, or hand-watering system, we recommend draining and shutting off irrigation equipment now that we are into the rainy season. Plants, lawns, and gardens generally don’t need supplemental water in the fall due to the shorter days.

Inspect and repair broken or leaky equipment

Broken sprinkler heads and leaky pipes can waste a lot of water and money. Regularly inspect your system for broken pieces. An automatic system still needs maintenance to function well. Hiring a knowledgeable contractor can ensure that your system continues to perform for years to come. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense Program certifies irrigation professionals who can design, install, maintain, or audit your irrigation system to help maintain a healthy landscape.Get information from the EPA on how to find a WaterSense-certified professional.

Did you replace or upgrade your existing irrigation controller or sprinkler nozzles this past summer with water-efficient equipment?

Portland uses almost twice as much water in the summer as it does in the winter. Reduce your use and apply for rebates when you purchase new water-efficient multi-stream rotator sprinkler nozzles and WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers. Any active City of Portland drinking water account is eligible. With proper installation, programming, and maintenance, homeowners and businesses can use these upgrades to save thousands of gallons of water each year. Find out how to get a rebate at Portland.gov/water/irrigation.