Preserve plants with less water

- As San Angelo remains in Drought Level 2 of the Drought Contingency Plan, current watering restrictions allow outside watering every 14 days and prohibit watering between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.

"Those regulations are in place because we are in extremely dire circumstances with our water and cheating on that is really putting yourself and the rest of us at risk," stated owner Del Britton of Britton's Garden and Landscape.

As San Angelo remains in severe drought, what used to be green grass is brown and flowers are wilting. While plants may look like they are dying, one landscaper said there are ways to preserve the roots, which keeps the plant alive, and use less water.

"The best way is to check your controller to see what it's set for and do it every once in a while because - like with the recent thunderstorms - sometimes the recent power surges reset your controller for you," Britton explained. "In worse cases, they'll go off every day for 10 - 15 minutes on every zone."

A relatively new sprinkler head, the MP rotator, can save 30% of the water used. Compared to the most common sprinkler head in San Angelo, the spray nozzle, more water goes into the ground instead of evaporating.

"The old one that most of our yards have is a spray nozzle. That's the one that creates a fine mist when it's sprayed and a lot of that mist evaporates and goes," continued Britton. "The MP rotators throw a really heavy droplet out so less is evaporated when it goes out through the air and gets into the air and down to your plants."

To test whether you need to water your lawn, all you need is a screwdriver. Stick it in the ground and, if it goes six inches or more, you do not need to water your lawn.

"Look at your system when it's running. See if it's hitting hard surfaces," Britton said. "If the sprinkler is tilted so that it's shooting the water further up in the air than it needed to then you're just throwing water up in the air that never comes down to your plants."

Britton said he hopes these tips will help you conserve water and control your water usage.

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