Take advantage of wet fall weather

Published on Wed, Sep 9, 2009 by Emily Resch Birch Bay Water & Sewer District

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Autumn in the Pacific Northwest is a great time to get busy in the yard and the city of Blaine and Birch Bay Water and Sewer District are encouraging customers to take advantage of it. 

The cooler weather, increase in rainfall and shorter days allow the northwest gardener to plant a successful landscape without the extra effort, time or additional use of potable water. 

The benefits of fall planting are plentiful.  The most beneficial element of fall planting is root establishment.  The ground is warm enough to allow roots to establish quickly under favorable conditions.  Allowing the roots to establish over the winter prepares fall planted trees, shrubs and flowers for hot summer temperatures.  Deep established plant roots require less water during the summer and are more likely to survive periods of drought. 

The increase in rainfall is another beneficial element of fall planting.  Nature automatically waters the plants for you and the cooler temperatures reduce the stress on plants from water loss through the leaves.  However, be diligent and chose an area that is well drained.  More plants die in the winter from drowning in wet soils than from freezing in the Northwest. 

Fall planting begins in October and extends through December.  Not only will you get a head start on landscaping, but can save money in the process. 

Most garden centers will have their plants on sale during that time period and you can expect to see water savings during the next summer based on fall planting efforts, especially if drought-tolerant species were planted.  So put on your rubber boots and plant for dry summers ahead!  

For more information, call the Blaine public works department at 332-8820 or the Birch Bay Water and Sewer District at 371-7100.