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Be Water Wise

Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 12:00:00 am

With warmer temps comes the common practice of watering and other activities that use up a good amount of H2O. Even though we’ve had some recent opportunities for singing in the rain, our state is still on the dry side. In fact, did you know that OKC is under mandatory water conservation? True story. That means that if you get the urge to water your lawn, you’ve got to do it under one simple stipulation – odd/even. If your address number ends in an even number, you can water on even-numbered days. Have an address ending with an odd number? Then odd-numbered days are yours for watering.  So use your water, but use it wisely.

 To help you out, our pals over at the City of Oklahoma City have set up an entire website on the subject. Here are a few of their pointers:

  • Check the soil moisture before watering. The surface may be dry, but adequate moisture may be retained beneath the surface.
  • Water in the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Water slowly and thoroughly rather than frequently to encourage root growth.
  • Use plenty of mulch or compost to promote water retention in grass and flower beds.
  • Be sure the sprinkler is aimed at the lawn, not the street or sidewalk.

For more tips, visit their site, SqueezeEveryDrop.com. And for even more tips, check out the EPA’s site on water conservation.

Comments

Have you ever considered using expanded shale along with compost for new landscape beds? Expanded shale helps to change the porosity of tight clay soils so irrigation, rainfall and nutrients are able to able to soak into the ground at greater depths. The shale is a permanent amendment that absorbs about 15% of it's weight in water and releases it into the soil as it dries out. Think about it- water at the root zone is much better than water resting at the top 1-2" of the soil where rapid evaporation takes place.
Soil experts contend that if you apply 1" of irrigation to clay soils then that water infiltrates to a depth of 3". Most homeowners may put down 1/2" of water twice a week so the infiltration rate is much less. A common practice for landscape beds is to till the soil to a depth of 8", add 3" of expanded shale and 3" of well-aged organic matter and till all materials into the loosened soil. This process was developed by the Texas A&M Horticulture Extension Service.
Posted by: Eric Nelson on March 7, 2013 at 3:23:00 pm

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