10 ways to help save water in your garden

Tips and tricks for water conservation in your landscape



Our cold winter is fading and spring is sprouting. For many of us, that means it’s time to start thinking about landscaping projects.

A well-designed landscape not only adds beauty to your home, it also can help reduce your water use, improve your home’s comfort and lower your energy bills all year long.

Explore xeriscape design and you’ll discover that this type of garden is environmentally friendly and attractive. Many homeowners confuse xeriscape with zero-scape, thinking that choosing a xeriscaped yard means accenting mostly hardscape with a few plants.

That’s not the case at all. Yards that embrace xeriscape ideas actually feature all manner of plants and garden styles, even cottage gardens. The term simply refers to a landscape that minimizes water use.

On average, a well-designed landscape saves enough water and energy to pay for itself in less than eight years. It’s never too late to make your landscape beautiful and efficient.

Here are 10 relatively easy tips to help conserve water in your landscape:

 

1. Choose well-adapted plants

Select plants appropriately. Seek out Oklahoma Proven plants for the best success in our regional climate. Visit oklahomaproven.org for plant profiles.

 

2. Group similar plants together

Always group together plants that have similar water needs.

 

3. Choose vining vegetables

Choose vining vegetable crops like cucumbers, assorted melons, and summer and winter squash. They require less water than many other vegetables, and watering is only critical during their flowering and fruiting stages. The same goes for eggplant, peppers and tomatoes.

 

4. Rethink your lawn

A lawn is easily No. 1 in water consumption in the average landscape. Consider limiting turf areas and replant with grasses that survive solely on rainfall and/or use turf grass, which requires minimal water. Contact the Tulsa County OSU Extension Office for proper turf selections for our area.

 

5. Aerate your soil 

Aerating the soil improves water flow to plants’ roots and enables soil to better absorb water and nutrients. This encourages deeper roots.

 

6. Use drip irrigation

Drip irrigation systems deliver water directly to the root zone and nowhere else. They can be readily found both in stores and online, and are quite easy to install. Watering the root system versus the foliage has many advantages, including both efficient water usage and minimization of foliage mold and other diseases.

 

7. Reuse water

Collect rainwater from roofs via guttering into rain barrels or similar apparatus. Reuse any old water that is not high in sodium and salts.

 

8. When you water matters

Water only in the early mornings, when it is cooler and less windy and evaporation rates are low. Avoid watering in the late evening as wet leaves at nighttime invite disease.

 

9. Let your grass get taller

Raise your lawnmower cutting height as it gets warmer. Longer grass blades help shade each other and retain more water. Generally speaking, root depth is proportional to grass blade height. That is, the higher the blade height, the deeper the roots, which will survive drought conditions much better.

 

10. Mulch

Use mulch to keep plant roots cool, minimize evaporation, prevent soil from crusting and reduce weed growth.

 

Thank you to Tulsa County Master Gardeners for their expertise in this subject matter. Allen Robinson has been a Master Gardener since 2010.

 

Annual plant sale

The annual Tulsa Master Gardeners Plant Sale continues online through April 4, with the public sale 9 a.m.-7 p.m., April 19, at the Expo Square Exchange Center, 4145 E. 21st St.

The sale offers a variety of plants for containers, flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Admission is free. Plant prices vary. Proceeds benefit Tulsa Master Gardeners’ educational and volunteer programs.

Visit tulsamastergardeners.org.

 

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August 2019

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
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Telephone: (405) 236-3100
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Cost: Free

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Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
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Cost: $10

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423 N. Main St.
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Sponsor: Senior Star Living
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Cost: $22-$25

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Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
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Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
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Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

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Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


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Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
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Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
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Tulsa, OK


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Cost: Free

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Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

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Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
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View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

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Cost: $1+

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Tulsa, OK


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Contact Name: Jenée Day
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Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
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307 East M. B. Brady St.
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Telephone: 918-585-1234
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More information

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Cost: $1+

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Sign up now for the Tulsa Area United Way's 9th Annual Golf Scramble – a local tradition that pairs an enjoyable morning of golf with helping your community.

Cost: $400 per team

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LaFortune Park Golf Course
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Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
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View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

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307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Telephone: 918-585-1234
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Cost: $15

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View map »


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Website »

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Fab Lab Tulsa
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Cost: Free

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1502 E. 11th St.
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