Summer Conservation Tips

During the summer months, water used outdoors can account for 50 to 80 percent of home water use and much of it is wasted through inefficient landscape watering practices. Here are some tips from the Texas Water Development Board on ways you can save water (and money) during the hot Texas summer. More conservation information was be found on the TWDB website.

How often should I water?
Only when needed. One inch of water once a week should be sufficient to keep most lawns healthy. Proper watering will help grass and shrubs develop deep roots. Over-watered turf will have a short root system and will not be drought tolerant. By slowly adjusting to longer periods between waterings, the turf can grow deeper roots and become drought tolerant.

What time of day should I water?
Early morning or late evening to help prevent evaporation.

When should I mow?
Only when the grass is dry. And don’t cut more than one-third of its length at one time. Taller grass holds moisture better, encourages deeper root growth, and is less susceptible to browning. Keep grass 3 inches tall during the summer (taller than 3 inches stresses the grass).

How can I conserve soil moisture?
Use lots of mulch. It will make shrubs and trees more tolerant to the heat.

1 to 3 inches of mulch:
• retains moisture
• reduces runoff
• helps moderate soil temperatures
• aids in root development
• reduces erosion
• slows weed growth

How to design a water-wise landscape:
Plant water-efficient and/or native shrubs and trees. Bermuda, buffalo, and zoysia are drought-tolerant grasses. Choose plants that are drought tolerant (or have low water requirements) and heat tolerant.

What is the most efficient irrigation system for nonturf areas?
Drip irrigation. It’s the most efficient method of watering bedded plants, trees, or shrubs. Soaker hoses are an easy and inexpensive alternative to drip irrigation.

How can I manage my sprinkler system for water efficiency?
Adjust the settings as needed. Don’t just set it in the spring and leave it on all season. Reduce the run time of sprinklers on shrubs, which may not need as much water as grass. Shady areas may not need as much
water either. Contact a professional irrigation specialist for a maintenance check.

What maintenance is required for my automatic sprinkler system?
Check sprinkler heads regularly. Remove dirt or debris that may be clogging the nozzle and make sure the heads are working at the proper pressure and not leaking. Repair or replace broken heads, valves, seals, and pipes. Once a month, run the sprinklers for a short time on each cycle while you are home to make sure they are working properly.