The hot months may be over but that is not stopping residents from violating the stage 2 water restrictions. In fact city officials have been issuing more citations lately than they have most weeks. And with winter now officially here as of this morning, is watering our yards and outdoor plants even necessary? One gardening expert said today and she said watering your plants this time of year requires a much different approach then it does in summer months. With lake levels still shrinking, Wichita Falls remains in stage 2 restrictions. And even though the city's watering guidelines are nothing new, still people either forget or ignore them and then pay the price. "We've been in this for awhile and yes we continue to issue out citations even in December. Last week we issued 20 citations, which is actually up we had been around 9 or 10, " said Daniel Nix, Wichita Falls Operations Manager. And in months like December, Known for freezing temperatures, plant experts say it's safe to slow down on your flow of water. "Plants require much less water in the winter time, when they are dormant," said Katherine Smith from Smith's Gardentown. In fact Smith says just because residents are still allowed one sprinkling day a week doesn't mean you should turn them on. Cold weather grasses need little water to survive and warm weather grasses are dormant in the winter months. She says put less priority on your lawn and focus on trees and shrubs, soaking them good and deep. And the water will go much farther if you put 3-4 inches of mulch under them. "The mulch will help conserve the moisture, it will insulate the roots from freeze damage as well," she said. And the less water we use now will mean more later when its really needed. "Having the water for you to drink, having water to fight fires if your house catches on fire and having water to convey away the waste from your home. All of those become more critically important then a green lawn," Nix said. He believes people do want to follow the water restrictions but sometimes get confused with them. If you have questions about how you can water and what day and times sprinkling is allowed you are encouraged to call the City's water hot line number at 761-7477 or click here to find information regarding the restrictions.
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