First of all, use the water that is available wisely. Don’t use a system where water evaporates before it can reach your lawn and plants. Slowly applied deep watering will encourage your plants to put deeper roots down. Deeper roots will not be as affected by extended periods of hot dry summer heat that bakes the surface. Use mulch in flower beds to help control water evaporation and regulate soil temperature. Do not water in the heat of the day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Use a watering system that is plant specific and don’t water in areas that don’t need it. Use plants that require less water but offer an attractive landscape. There are many plants that will satisfy this requirement. Capture as much of the rain that falls on your property as possible, reducing run off, and then use that water in your own landscape when needed.By 2035, Parker County is expected to grow to a population of 194,000. Currently, 70 percent of the water used in the county is used by municipalities. If you compare water use between winter and summer months in Weatherford, you can see that twice as much water is used in the summer months, mostly to water landscapes. In April this year, the City of Weatherford, along with many other cities in North Central Texas, instituted Stage 1 water restrictions, limiting the days and hours homeowners can water their landscapes. As the population grows, additional demands on our use of water will occur. The City of Weatherford’s water conservation and drought contingency plan calls for a 5 percent reduction in water use each year, despite the expected growth. The time has come for all homeowners to make a realistic evaluation of water needs and usage in their landscape.On Sat., May 11, Texas AgriLife Extension, in cooperation with Parker County Master Gardeners, will conduct a workshop to help participants learn what they can do to reduce water use and still have a beautiful landscape. The class will be at 604 North Main Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The agenda will include presentations on successful techniques for water wise gardening including drip irrigation, rain water harvesting, and how to design a drought tolerant landscape. The class will include a hands-on workshop on how to use and install drip irrigation and a rainwater harvesting system.Class fee is $20 and will include handouts, refreshments and lunch. For more information about the water conservation class, contact the Parker County Extension Office at 817-598-6198.