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The Water Conservation Garden

Here’s what’s going on...

Light houseOklahoma is a state that experiences periods of persistent drought conditions, so using water wisely is very important. Even though Oklahoma may experience good rainfall during parts of the year, rainfall patterns are highly variable and therefore it’s necessary to conserve water wherever possible.


Oklahoma City residents use up to 40% of their household water outdoors, and much of this water use can be reduced considerably.


By implementing water-wise practices in your home you will reduce water waste and help support a healthy landscape.


Drought or not, let’s work together to squeeze every drop!



This is how you can help:

1) Landscape planning and design

Start with a good design. Consider the best use of slopes, soils, drainage, turf, sun exposure and recreation areas in your property.

Garden design



Source:  Builder House Plans, Hanley Wood, LLC. Washington, CD




2) Soil quality improvement

  • Assess your soil’s quality. If soils are compacted, consider adding organic matter and aerating periodically increases soil water holding capacity.
  • Always take a soil test before fertilizing the landscape. For information on soil testing go to: or visit your local Extension office.


3) Turfgrass management

  • Instead of watering on a set schedule, water when the grass begins to show signs of wilt.
  • If you can see your footprints when you walk across the yard, it’s time to water.
  • Water early in the morning to reduce water loss to evaporation.

Footprints on grass









4) Plant selection and placement

  • Make sure you take plant heights, light requirements and water needs into account.

Plant Chart



  •  Choose plants that are adapted to Oklahoma’s climate. Always plan before you plant.


A rhino.

The Zoo’s Rhino exhibit showcases bermudagrass - a warm-season grass that grows well in Oklahoma; bermudagrass only needs about 1 inch of water or less per week.


Photo Source:



For a PDF list of adapted plants, scan the QR below:

QR Code








The Oklahoma County Extension office also has a water-wise plant list available.



This project is a collaboration between:


The city of Oklahoma City has partnered with Oklahoma State University’s DepartmentFlowers of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to help promote outdoor water conservation.


For more information about how you can save water outdoors check out these websites:

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