What I can do to keep plants alive during a drought?
As the scorching sun bears down upon us, it’s advantageous to make sure we are doing everything we can to help keep our plants healthy while abiding by our local water restrictions.
1. Update your controller settings to the allowable schedules for city days and times to water.
See below for your area’s suggestions or regulations.
2. Water during the allotted period as long as you can.
If you can only water twice a week you may have to double your time if possible. The soaking effect is best with multiple starts times to avoid water waste.
Your grass would normally need at least 1″ of water a week to keep going in this heat.
3. Retaining Moisture:
Taller grass helps to retain moisture in the soil for longer periods. During the intense heat of a Houston summer, water evaporates quickly from the ground. Longer grass blades act as a natural barrier, slowing down water evaporation and helping the soil hold onto much-needed moisture. This means less frequent watering, saving you time and money on your water bills.
4. Deep watering your grass is an essential practice that can help during the heat. This means to water longer than normal settings.
You should be running your system 130% – 140% of normal run time settings if possible. Water during the night during allotted times to water.
4. Mulch your beds to retain more moisture.
Adding mulch to your beds can really help retain moisture at the roots where plants need it the most.
5. Check for leaks or broken heads on your sprinkler system.
Maximize your watering by making sure your system is running at the correct pressure by fixing any leaks or broken spray heads on your sprinkler system. Older heads can also be leaking and need replaced.
Remember, to check your sprinkler system quarterly for any problems. This can really make sure your plants are getting the best coverage possible and avoid waste.
Find Your Area’s Water Restrictions Below
City of Houston – Stage 2
- Houston announced it will enter Stage Two of its Drought Contingency Plan with mandatory water restrictions on Sunday, Aug. 27.
- Outdoor water use must be limited to the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. with the following schedule:
- Sundays and Thursdays for single-family residential homes with even-numbers addresses
- Saturdays and Wednesdays for single-family residential homes with odd-number address
- Tuesdays and Fridays for all other customers
- Residents who violate the water conservation order could be punished. For the first violation, you’ll receive a written warning. All other violations are subject to a fine of up to $2,000.
City of Katy – Stage 3
- The City of Katy moved into Stage 3 drought conditions with mandatory water restrictions on Aug. 14.
- Residents can only water between midnight and 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on your assigned day.
- If your address ends in even numbers, you can only water on Sunday and Thursday. If your address ends in odd numbers, you can water only on Saturday and Wednesday.
- On Tuesday and Friday, the homeowners’ association and commercial properties can water.
- If you don’t follow the restrictions, fines can be steep. It starts with a written warning on the first violation. The second violation can result in a ticket with fines from $100 to $2,000 per incident. The City of Katy could also turn off your water.
City of Tomball – Mandatory
- Watering with irrigation systems or hose-end sprinklers is prohibited from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Watering with a bucket or watering can is permitted at any time
- Water once a week: odd addresses on Wednesdays and even addresses on Thursdays
- Car washes (excluding commercial car washes) and filling swimming pools are prohibited from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Use of water for fountains or ponds prohibited (excluding ponds that support aquatic life)
City of Pearland – Stage 2
- On Wednesday, Aug. 30, Pearland will enter Stage 2 of its drought contingency plan and activate mandatory drought restrictions.
- Residential and non-residential water customers are to limit outdoor watering to twice per week on the days that align with Pearland customers’ trash service days, prohibited between 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Operation of ornamental fountain or pond for aesthetic or scenic purposes is prohibited.
- Use of water from fire hydrants is limited to firefighting.
- Any water customer who violates these restrictions is subject to a fine of up to $2,000.
- Several exceptions from stage two restrictions have been identified to balance the practical needs of the community with conservation goals:
- Newly planted landscaping and/or sod
- Sports fields hosting league play
Sugar Land – Voluntary
- The City of Sugar Land issued a voluntary water conservation request and activated Stage 1 of its Drought Contingency Plan.
- The city asks that residents limit watering their lawns to only twice a week from the hours of midnight to 10 a.m. or from 8 p.m. to midnight.
- Residents with even-numbered addresses are asked to only water on Mondays and Thursdays.
- Residents with odd-numbered addresses are asked to only water on Tuesdays and Fridays.
City of Missouri City – Voluntary
- On Aug. 14, the City of Missouri City requested that all residents within the following subdivisions/associations restrict lawn watering to one time per week.
- The recommended maximum volume for lawn watering is 1” of water per week.
- The city said if lawn watering restrictions are not adhered to, tighter water restrictions may be added.
City of Fulshear – Stage 2
- The City of Fulshear moved to Stage 2 water conservation measures on Aug. 24.
- Voluntary but strongly advising to halt watering and/or irrigation to once every five days
- Voluntary but strongly advise changing the irrigation schedule to outside our high-demand hours which are 4 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
- Voluntary but strongly advise reducing water usage inside your home/business
City of Rosenberg – Stage 1
- On July 27, the City of Rosenberg entered Stage 1 of its Drought Contingency Plan.
- That means residents are asked to voluntarily reduce their water usage. The city aims to reduce water usage by a total of 5% in this stage.
- Residents whose address ends in an even number are asked to limit outdoor watering to Sundays and Thursdays from the hours of midnight to 10 a.m. and from 8 p.m. to midnight.
- Residents whose address ends in an odd number are asked to limit outdoor watering to Saturdays and Wednesdays from the hours of midnight to 10 a.m. and from 8 p.m. to midnight.
City of West University Place – Stage 2
- City of Houston’s Stage 2 consists of mandatory restrictions. These restrictions do not apply to City of West University Place residents.
- We are asking residents to conserve water and help us manage the water demand by following these easy steps.
- At this time we request residents restrict their outside watering.
- Daily watering is permitted, but it is recommended to only water between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.