High School Football Scores

Tips and tricks on how to reduce water use and prepare your plants for cooler weather

Water rationing sprinkler

OKLAHOMA – Cooler weather is on its way!

Are your plants ready for the temperature change?

As the summer comes to an end, it’s time to start thinking about preparing the landscaping for cool-weather seasons. Also, fall is a good time to do some indoor projects that help reduce water use.

Lower temperatures and shorter days will reduce evaporation and the need for frequent outdoor watering. Reduce water use, by resetting the irrigation system frequencies or turn the system off until spring.

Bermuda grass lawns only need about 5 inches of water in August. With average rainfall, these lawns only need about 1.5 inches for the month.

If you need to water in the fall and winter, be sure to do so in compliance with the Mandatory Water Conservation Program. Stage 1 – Odd Even Watering – is in effect year round.

After setting yard work aside until next spring, think about doing some water-saving projects indoors. Consider installing WaterSence labeled faucets and low-flow toilets that use only about 1.5 gallons per flush. If buying new water-using appliances, choose the water-efficient energy start models. You’ll conserve water and reduce water bills for years.

More ways to prepare for cooler seasons and conserve water:

  • Do the step-test before watering grass. If it springs back when stepped on, leave the water off. If you see a footprint, it’s probably time to water.
  • Find out how long to run the sprinkler system at SIP.Mesonet.org.
  • Fall is the best time to reseed tall fescue lawns. Learn how to manage a cool-season lawn at a workshop: 1:30 to 3 p.m., Tuesday, August 19
    930 N. Portland, Oklahoma County Extension Center
  • Rain barrels save water and are ideal for gardeners. Learn to construct an install one at 7 p.m., Friday, August 22, 400 N. Portland, OSU-OKC Horticulture Center. There, you can also take a walk through the water conservation demonstration garden.
  • Watch four new how-to videos at squeezeeverydrop.com. Also check out the video featuring City Manager Jim Couch and other experts. They tell WHY it’s important to conserve OKC’s water supply.
  • Add mulch or compost to gardens and flower beds and around tree trunks. This will provide a nice blanket protecting the root systems from freezing temps and hold moisture.
  • Make your own compost from grass clippings, twigs, leaves and organic materials from the house – coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit peelings, egg shells, .  Just toss this “trash” in a bin or pile instead of the Big Blue cart. These organic materials will do a lot more good in the yard than in the landfill.
  • Be OK with brown Bermuda grass. It’s just dormant and will come back healthy and green in the spring with only an inch of water each week.
  • Go to squeezeeverydrop.com for more water-saving tips.