Weekly Watering Number
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Up to half of the water used to water our gardens is wasted because of over-watering, so sign up and start watering smart with the Weekly Watering Number today!
Morning clouds and afternoon sunshine with a chance of drizzle or scattered showers are expected for the coming week. So, you will need to water lawns about a half inch this week and other established plants will need less than that. Of course, newly planted beds and plants located under eaves or trees may need more.
Weekly Waterwise Tip:
Sprinkler system technologies have come a long way in recent years. Many use water more efficiently and use smart controllers that take local weather conditions into account when determining how much water your landscape needs. But, not everyone has a new sprinkler system in their budget. This past week we were on Garden Time to share information on what you can do to update your existing sprinkler system to make it more water efficient.
Everyone can have a blue thumb – start watering smart today with the Weekly Watering Number!
Here in the Portland metro area, we like to joke that summer officially starts July 5th. But, while summer weather may finally kick in then, we often start watering our lawns and gardens the first or second warm-ish spring day. And, we keep on watering them until the fall rains begin.
What many people don’t know is that established plants (those that have been in the ground a year or two) usually don’t need to be watered until the warmer temperatures set in and dry out our clay soil. In fact, spring can be a great time to conserve water!
That’s where the Weekly Watering Number (WWN) comes in. Sign up for the WWN and we'll tell you when to start watering and how much to water each week through mid-October. We will also send you a Weekly Tip, along with your WWN, throughout the watering season to help you use water efficiently outdoors.
How to get started
Before you can start using the WWN, you will need to take 15 minutes to figure out how long it takes your watering system to water one inch. Don’t worry, this is a one-time thing! Once you have this information, you can use it adjust the amount of water you give your landscape or garden throughout the irrigation season.
How to use the Weekly Watering Number
Different plants have different water needs and you can use the WWN to tailor the amount of water you give to different plant types (e.g. lawns, perennials, vegetable, trees). See below for more information on how the WWN can be used for lawns and other types of plants.
The other key to watering efficiently is to adjust the amount you water as the weather changes throughout the irrigation season. For example, we’ll let you know if a rain storm or heat wave means you should change how much you water – and we will tell you how much of a change is needed.
Can I use the Weekly Watering Number for different types of plants?
Yes. Different types of plants have different water needs. The WWN is the amount of water in inches that your lawn will need each week. Here is how to adjust the WWN so that it can be used for other plant types:
- Shrubs and Perennials: 50% of the WWN
- Vegetables: 75% of the WWN (new starts may require more water)
- Trees: Newly planted trees need regular watering for up to the first couple of years, while established trees may need a deep soak or two in summer.
Why does the Weekly Watering Number change each week?
The WWN changes with local weather conditions. So, in the cooler, wetter spring it tends to be lower, and in the hotter drier summer it tends to be higher.
What does my zip code have to do with this?
Sometimes weather is warmer, cooler, wetter or dryer where you live than it is across town. We customize your WWN based on your specific zip code so that it is more accurate
Where does the data for the Weekly Watering Number come from?
The Consortium contracts with a weather forecasting service to provide the data (e.g. rain fall, evapotranspiration, solar radiation) needed to generate the WWN.
Why do you use historical data to create the Weekly Water Number?
The WWN is based on the previous week's weather (heat, rainfall, wind, etc). It is meant to replace any moisture that your plant's soil lost the previous week.