Heavy rains in mid-June are welcome but are still not enough to relieve the valley of drought conditions. This was a record dry April in Oregon, with its western portion receiving only a quarter of its expected soaking. With drier conditions and a limited water supply, fostering a lush lawn and thriving garden takes extra care. Here are a few tips to be the best steward of your water.

Your lawn:

  • Water early in the morning and water deeply
  • Use grass clippings, compost, and mulch to retain water 
  • Don’t cut your grass too short (keep it from drying out)
  • Preserve rainwater when you can and use a drip irrigation system
  • Use innovative landscaping options that don’t need so much water
  • Consider artificial grass in certain areas.

Your garden:

Consider all the tips above and add:

  • Place plants that have similar water demands together
  • Shade the soil by planting in blocks (rather than in rows) to prevent evaporation
  • Consider permeable pavers and porous hardscapes
  • Get a rain gauge
  • Get a smart irrigation system
  • To limit evaporation, use tall plants to block the wind 
  • Choose native plants or those that adapt well to minimal water.

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. This map shows drought conditions across Oregon using a five-category system, from Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions to Exceptional Drought (D4). The USDM is a joint effort of the National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA, and NOAA. Learn more.

Oregon | Drought.gov

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