NORMAN — With Oklahoma entering a third year of drought and water at a premium, “xeriscaping,” “rain barrels” and “gray water” are terms that have entered our everyday vocabulary.
Xeriscaping, or dry landscaping, reduces the need for irrigation through the use of a variety of factors, including drought-tolerant plants and mulch or rock.
The city of Norman recently updated the list of native and/or drought-tolerant plants recommended for commercial developers and residents landscaping their yards.
Parks Director Jud Foster said the city is working on an information pamphlet on drought-tolerant plants that will be made available to the public. The use of drought-tolerant and Oklahoma Proven species helps create sustainable landscapes with low water usage.
“We’re going to select plants that are either Oklahoma Proven or drought tolerant because they have a better chance of surviving in our climate,” Foster said. “There’s an Oklahoma Proven website of plants tested and proven to do well in our environment.”
A full list of drought-tolerant and Oklahoma Proven plants is available on the city’s website at ci.
norman.ok.us/utilities/water-conservation-information, along with other information on a greener Norman.
The list includes trees and shrubs as well as ornamental perennials.
The Oklahoma Proven list is available at oklahomaproven.org. Information also is available at the OSU County Extension Office at 615 E. Robinson St.
Many of the plants on the city’s list, such as Mexican Feather Grass and varieties of yucca, can be seen at the County Extension Center’s teaching garden at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E. Robinson St
Other tips for successful plantings include using good soil with lots of organic matter. Some gardeners prefer using a blend designed for water conservation.
Use drip irrigation rather than sprinklers to avoid losing water to evaporation. Water early in the morning or late at night to avoid evaporation loss and stress on the city’s water system during peak hours.