Irrigation Solutions for Seattle

Seattle has a reputation as a perpetually wet and rainy place. Under those conditions, you may wonder what the point of an irrigation system even is. Forgoing an irrigation system for your yard can seem like an environmentally, and financially, friendly move. But is it the right one?

What you can do to minimize watering needs

The first thing to consider is what plants you have. Native and Mediterranean-climate plants can handle the combination of wet winters and dry summers that comprise the Pacific Northwest’s true weather. These plants don’t need too much water, generally they can go 60 days without rain, and the plants benefit from dry spells that cause deeper root growth. Plants not adapted to the local environment can be less hardy and require more coddling.

Sun exposure is also a factor. Western exposure sites get more sun, shady sites less. This means the two will dry out at different rates and have different irrigation requirements as a result.

Why you may still want irrigation

Regardless of which plants you have, the age of your garden is a key factor. Plants do need to be watered regularly for the first three years after they are planted. Generally, once a day for the first year and then two to three times a week for the next couple of years.

Depending on the size of your garden, you may want an irrigation system to keep this manageable and save you hours of work.

How to irrigate efficiently

If you do decide to install an irrigation system, there are ways to do so that minimize water use while maximizing what your plants receive.

While spray heads are good for lawns, for garden beds we recommend drip lines. They can sit under mulch and efficiently deliver water directly to the roots of plants, avoiding loss through evaporation. The water also soaks in slowly which is beneficial for the plants.

We can also install water controllers that use different timing intervals for different soil types, tailoring watering to exactly what each area needs.

For areas where you do need to use spray heads, there are high-efficiency heads available that will cut down on wasted water, putting just what is needed, where it’s needed and avoiding wasteful over-watering.

The bottom line

At the end of the day, to irrigate or not is a personal choice. You need to consider your garden, how much water it needs and how much time you want to spend watering.

If you do decide to irrigate, there are more and less efficient ways to go about it. If you want to talk about what the best way to go about irrigating your yard is, give us a call at 206-551-9872 for a free consultation.