Outdoor Water Conservation
Lawn / Landscape Watering
- Water your lawn or landscape early in the morning (before 10 am) or late in the afternoon (after 6 pm) to avoid loosing water to evaporation.
- Do not over water your lawn. Texas soils can only absorb so much moisture and the rest runs off, wasting water. During summer months, applying one inch of water every 7 days should be enough to encourage a deep root system and healthy lawn. Also, during winter months reduce your watering frequency to once every 15 to 20 days.
- Water only when needed. If it rains, you do not have to water your lawn. To better track rainfall, buy a rain gauge.
- If you have an automated sprinkler system, adjust the heads to water the landscape not the pavement. Check your system regularly for leaks or broken or misdirected spray heads.
- Install and maintain rain and freeze sensors.
- To avoid excessive evaporation, use a sprinkler that produces large drops of water, rather than a fine mist. Sprinklers that send droplets out on a low angle also help control evaporation.
- Set automatic sprinkler systems to provide thorough, but infrequent watering. Pressure regulating devices should be set to design specifications. Rain shutoff devices can prevent watering in the rain.
- Use drip irrigation systems for bedding plants, trees or shrubs, or run soaker hoses upside down so that holes are on the bottom. This will help avoid evaporation.
- Water slowly for better absorption, and never water on windy days.
For more detailed information, please check out our Irrigation Tips videos!
- Condition the soil with mulch or compost before planting grass or flowerbeds so that water will soak in rather than run off.
- Fertilize lawns at least twice a year for root stimulation, but do not over fertilize. Grass with a good root system makes better use of less water and is more drought-tolerant.
- Do not scalp lawns when mowing during hot weather. Taller grass holds moisture better. Grass should be cut fairly often, so that only 1/2 to 3/4 inch is trimmed off. A better looking lawn will result.
- Use a watering can or hand water with the hose in small areas of the lawn that need more frequent watering (those near walks or driveways or in especially hot, sunny spots).
- Use water-wise plants. Learn what types of grass, shrubbery and plants do best in the area and in which parts of the lawn, and then plant accordingly. Choose plants that have low water requirements, are drought-tolerant and are adapted to the area of the state where they are to be planted.
- Consider decorating some areas of the lawn with wood chips, rocks, gravel or other materials now available that require no water at all.