Outdoor Conservation

The key to any successful water conservation program is to address the most efficient way to water our landscape. Growing plants and turf in Texas can be a challenge, but with just a little bit of education, efficiently watering your yard can put you way ahead of the pack. Here you will find great information on clay soil, hardy Texas plants and proven irrigation practices.


The following are some good tips to get the most out of the water you apply to your yard:

  • During the warmer months, water very early in the morning to prevent excessive evaporation.
  • Use the cycle/soak method of irrigation to get the water deep into the soil.
  • Raise the height of your lawn mower to protect your grass roots from sunburn.
  • Be sure to check your irrigation system each year to make sure it’s working properly. Observe each zone for a few minutes to be sure all of the sprinkler heads are pointing in the right direction and they have an even flow of water.
  • Visit Watermyyard.org to sign-up for free weekly watering advice customized to your local weather data.
  1. Cycle/Soak (Irrigation)
  2. Irrigation System Basics
  3. Our Soil

There’s good news and not-so-good news (but mostly good) when it comes to irrigating clay soil. The good news is that once we get water deep into the soil, it has a tendency to hold it for a while which is good because it means we can water less. On the other hand, getting the water deep into the tightly packed particles of clay takes a certain technique. No worries, it’s not difficult at all, just a little different than most of us are used to.

Clay soil has a very slow water absorption rate. In other words, it must be watered slowly. More often than not, running an irrigation zone for 15 to 20 minutes at a time is too much water for the soil to absorb and it just ends up running off of the yard and down the street. The best way to ensure that the roots of your turf and plants are getting watered properly is to use the Cycle Soak Method of Irrigation. Instead of running each zone one time around for too many minutes at a time, try breaking the run time into 3 shorter cycles.

For example, instead of running the zone for 15 or 20 minutes straight, break the watering cycle into 2 cycles of 7 to 10 minutes or 3 cycles of 5 to 7 minutes with about 30 to 60 minutes in between cycles. This gives the clay soil time to deeply absorb the water that you have applied and will be ready to absorb more during the next short cycle.

Happy Plants!

The plant’s root system will reach for this deep moisture and will be well protected from the summer heat. A deeply irrigated soil bed creates long, healthy plant roots that will not only survive in the Texas heat, but will flourish!

Good Water Stewardship

By using this method, irrigation should not be necessary again for at least 3 to 5 days, depending on weather conditions.