Category Archives: Water Conservation

Watering the Garden

Summertime weather conditions are arriving soon as the temperature steadily climbs a few degrees every day or two. Unfortunately, it looks like we may be going into summer a little on the dry side. That means we will need to water our landscape and gardens to minimize drought stress and keep our plants alive and healthy. Of course, using more irrigation water means our water bills will dramatically increase. And increased usage can put a strain on some community’s water resources and ability to deliver water to maintain… Read More →

Turk’s Cap – A Texas Superstar and Hummingbird Favorite

Visiting the Heritage Rose Garden and IDEA Garden at the Tyler Rose Garden this week, I was struck by the shear abundance of blooms from many annuals and perennials. Not only is the floral display pleasing to the eye, but it is essential for so many insects and birds, as they prepare for winter in Northeast Texas, or fuel up for their long trip south on their migration to warmer climes. Monarch butterflies were swarming over Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’, a wonderful newer hybrid variety of an old fashioned… Read More →

Tough Plants for Tough Conditions

You don’t need me to tell you that our summer has been really hard on our landscape plants. Even in landscapes with irrigation, whether you are a hose-dragger like me or have an in-ground system, many plants are suffering, showing signs of heat and drought stress. Common plants like azaleas are very prone to problems in these types of conditions. I’ve lost some azaleas that didn’t get sufficient irrigation because other plants were blocking spray patterns. Years like this often cause us to reconsider the types of plants… Read More →

Strategies for Helping Plants through the Drought

  With the continued onslaught of extreme heat and lack of rain, all vegetation is under a great deal of stress. Nothing we can do about the heat, except wait it out. Many communities and water utilities are starting to implement water use restrictions to help conserve this precious resource. Mulching.  One way to help the soil hold water longer in shrub beds after a rain or irrigation is to apply a layer of mulch over the surface of the soil. I wrote about this a couple of… Read More →

Watering the Lawn – How Much & How Often?

A frequent question I get is, “How long and how often should I water my lawn?” The answer, as you might guess, is, “It depends.” It depends on whether you are just trying to keep the grass alive, or have a goal of a golf course quality lawn. It depends on what kind of soil you have – sandy, clay, rocky, etc. It depends on the weather – hot and dry obviously means more water, more often. And, it depends on your irrigation system. You might be a… Read More →

Keeping the Lawn Alive

During the hot, dry summer, we need to pay attention to our lawns. Although most grasses can survive short periods of drought, it stresses and weakens them, making them more susceptible to other environmental problems. Timely and adequate watering will help maintain a quality lawn. How much and how often you water depends on your soil type, and the amount of shade the lawn receives. Sandy, porous soils require more frequent watering; clay soil retains moisture longer as do sections of lawns receiving more shade. Lawns need about… Read More →

Drought and the Garden

For the last several weeks, we have been looking at ways to help make our landscapes more able to withstand the effects of drought, and to be more efficient in using irrigation water. Earth-Kind, an environmental stewardship program of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, includes water conservation as one its main objectives. To help reach that goal, it pulls together 7 principles to help develop a water-efficient landscape. These principles include: 1) planning your landscape with water conservation in mind; 2) using plants appropriate for our area and your… Read More →

Mulch Your Garden!!

Another week goes by, and for most of us, no significant rain. Prolonged drought can take a toll on our lawns, gardens and landscapes. For the last several weeks, we’ve been looking at practices and steps we can take to help our gardens and landscapes deal with the drought and conserve water. These steps include: 1) planning your landscape with water conservation in mind; 2) using plants adapted for our area and your soil type; 3) having practical turf areas; 4) improving the soil prior to planting; 5)… Read More →