Tips for keeping your gardening project power-wise

It’s important to remember to plan ahead, select the right plant for the right place, and conserve resources.

  • Friday, May 13, 2022 7:47am
  • Life

By Snohomish County PUD

Warmer weather is on the way, and that means more time spent outside in our yards and gardens. It also means many PUD customers will be tackling outdoor projects to beautify those outdoor spaces.

Before you get started, though, it is important to remember to plan ahead, select the right plant for the right place, and conserve resources. Here are some tips to keep in mind before starting your summer outdoor project:

Call 8-1-1!

If your project includes digging further than 12 inches deep, make sure to use the “Call before you dig” hotline at 8-1-1 at least two working days ahead of your digging project. Hotline staff can work to provide the locations of lines that serve power, gas, water, sewer and/or telephone utilities that are located along the right of way of a resident’s property.

The PUD owns and maintains underground services on private property for residential single-family homes and will mark lines up to customers’ meters. Apartment buildings, schools and mobile home parks may need to retain a private locator, depending on meter locations. Private locators are available to provide this service for a fee.

The “Call before you dig” 811 hotline is a free service, which is required by law. Severed utility cables or water lines not only inconvenience people, they are expensive to repair and are restored at your cost.

Smart Planting tips

Spring is a great time to beautify a yard with a new tree or bush. Trees and brush brighten our yards and communities, but when they mature and grow into or near power lines, customers are likely to get a knock on the door from a PUD arborist.

Many of these issues can be avoided with better planning. The PUD encourages customers to look ahead 10 to 20 years and try to envision where trees and plants will be in respect to power lines and padmount transformers, those large green boxes that house important electrical equipment.

Plant large, tall trees far from overhead power lines and keep bushes at least 3 feet from padmount transformers. If the ideal planting spot is under power lines, it’s best to plant smaller deciduous, shrubs or fruit trees that reach a maximum height of 25 feet. Rather than an oak or sequoia, pick out a smaller option that is more manageable, like a Japanese maple, serviceberry or flowering cherry.

Also, consider drought-tolerant plants, which reduce your yard’s watering needs during the drier summer months. There are many options, including the Western sword fern, Oregon grape and Evergreen huckleberries. These plants are easy to care for and offer color during the warm summer months.

Water wisely

During the summer, water usage spikes when customers increase their outdoor watering and irrigation needs are highest. To help conserve water, only water your yard every three days and do it in the morning to reduce water loss from evaporation.

Other ways to conserve water include repairing leaky hose bibbs and hoses and adjusting sprinkles so they are watering the grass and not the sidewalk or street.

To download the PUD’s 2022 yard watering calendar or for more water conservation tips, visit

June Power Talks Focuses on Kids

As summer approaches, thoughts transition from classroom learning to outdoor family fun! Our June Power Talks presentation at noon June 9 will feature information about our Public Education program and recreation opportunities at Spada Lake Reservoir and Osprey Park. Mini solar kits, which include a small solar car, solar beads and more, will be mailed to attendees. To register for this event, visit

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