Watering Recommendations

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Water RecommendationsWelcome to WaterSmart Yard! 


Most plants are in their slow-growth or dormant phase during the winter, and our seasonal rains provide all the water they need. Add a blanket of mulch to slow moisture loss from the soil and help protect root systems in cold weather. During extended dry periods, check newly planted, container and high-water use plants for stress and water if needed. Irrigating during the winter will increase your monthly sewer charges next year. This is because sewer caps are calculated during the winter months and it is assumed that only indoor water is being used during that time. Note, state law prohibits irrigating within 48 hours of measurable rainfall. 

Once we are in irrigation season again, you can create an irrigation watering schedule that is customized to your landscape using the new county-wide Irrigation Scheduling Tool. To create your customized watering schedule, select Santa Rosa in the 'Select Your Region' dropdown menu. Once selected, the current irrigation recommendations for Santa Rosa will populate below.

 Prefer a monthly watering schedule based on historical data? Download the Monthly Lawn and Landscape Watering Schedule (PDF). 

Program Your Irrigation Controller

An irrigation controller can be intimidating but it’s simply a clock that turns your irrigation system on and off. Let us help create a watering schedule to match weather conditions and your plant's actual water needs.


Weather Data Source

Santa Rosa Water has two weather stations with the State of California’s CIMIS program:

  • Station #83 on Llano Road (West side of town)
  • Station #158 at the Bennett Valley Golf Course (East side of town)

Watering Trees

Click here for information on your to help your trees survive drought. Now is a great time to consider installing a graywater or rainwater harvesting system to irrigate your trees. See our rebates page for more information.

Trees are one of the most valuable elements in your landscape. Urban trees combat climate change, provide shade, clean the air, enhance public health, and contribute to vibrant, sustainable communities. 

Water trees gradually and deeply to ensure that your trees thrive. Apply water slowly and evenly to the tree’s root zone, saturating the soil to a depth of 12-18+ inches. Trees should be watered in multiple locations within the drip line (canopy) of the tree. For more detailed recommendations about tree watering, view Canopy’s recommendations for mature, and young trees. 

Use special care with Oak Trees: Valley Oak, Coast Live Oak, and Blue Oak do not tolerate irrigation in the dry months. Ideally, no supplemental irrigation should be applied to these trees except during exceedingly hot and dry, drought conditions. 

For more information on the benefits of trees and how to care for them, visit Canopy.

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