Most lawns and landscaping in the local area have now entered their hibernation period, allowing grasses and shrubs to take advantage of the dormant cycle to strengthen and deepen their root systems.


“This is something that happens every fall and winter,” Prosper’s Water Conservation Education Coordinator Tristan Cisco said. “Plants, shrubs, landscaping and grasses enter a state of reduced water usage during the winter months, where the plants focus resources on strengthening their roots.”


The annual dormant period is the reason cities and towns enter into a more restrictive schedule for watering with automatic sprinklers. Even though grasses continue to need water during this period, the natural pattern of winter precipitation such as rain, snow and sleet is usually enough to fulfill the need.


“Prosper, like most communities in the area, will go into seasonal water conservation measures from now until early spring of next year,” she said. “For our residents, that means watering with automatic sprinklers is allowed only once a week.”


Seasonal restrictions are already in place and will remain in place until March 31, 2017.


For those residents who choose to use their sprinkler systems during this period, they must follow the once-a-week schedule, using their sprinkler system only on their designated day. Watering schedules are available at http://www.prospertx.gov/wp-content/uploads/Watering-Map.pdf.


“Nevertheless, we are still urging customers to use the manual feature on the irrigation controller. Using the manual on-off feature gives the homeowner additional flexibility on whether or not to water,” Cisco said.


If the automatic sprinkler system controller is left on and programmed, homeowners should ensure that the system is working properly to avoid watering during rain events, during freezes or on non-authorized days.


More information and watering advice can be found on www.watermyyard.org or on the Public Works pages of www.prospertx.gov.


Additional information on plant selection and advice on landscaping choices is provided free by the Collin County Master Gardeners at http://www.ccmgatx.org/.