We Are Still In Stage 1

Once-a-week watering is more than enough for your landscape, especially if it’s loaded with lush, drought-hardy plants. 

With the chaos of the recent extreme winter weather, not to mention our landscapes were still in their winter dormancy, it’s easy to understand why many of us may have forgotten that we are still in Stage 1. That means watering once a week on your day, as determined by the last digit of your street address. 

Stage One water restriction banner.

Although once-a-week watering is more than enough, the most common worry I hear from folks is that their lawns simply cannot survive with such minimal water. But the truth is lawns can survive without watering for 12 to 21 days depending on the species. Perennial plants and trees can go even longer, easily surviving without water for 45-60 days. Frankly, it’s a myth that appropriately selected, well established plants need to be watered weekly.

Here’s the proof. A study was conducted from 2005 to 2008 to determine which grass species could survive on no water for 60 days and on what depth of soil they required. While all grasses did better on more soil, the research revealed that all species could tolerate limited watering regardless of soil depth. And that makes sense considering in nature, native plants never receive water on regular basis. 

So go ahead and set your irrigation system to water just once a week on your watering day. Your wallet and plants will thank you.

Visit for weekly watering amounts and landscaping tips to keep your yard looking great using less water. For more information on watering rules, visit 

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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