Burn bans, drought effects and watering restrictions are on their way to becoming common topics in our
With drought plaguing the state, more and more people are looking into ways they can keep their gardens
and lawns healthy while also conserving water.
Planning is the first step to having a beautiful waterwise garden. You should take into consideration
sun, shade, wind and soil at specific locations throughout your property.
Plants with similar needs should be planted together. Doing so will save you time while maintaining
your garden and will help the plants to thrive.
The type of plants you select for a garden that will survive Texas droughts don’t necessarily have
to be Texas plants. Native plants survive our summers and long periods of droughts because they are indigenous. But adapted exotics can survive just as well
and bring something new to your landscape.
When planting your ornamental grasses, shrubs and flowers, plant them according to water needs.
For example, plants requiring the most water should be planted closest to the house or in low-lying areas. After that area, plant ones that are a little
more drought tolerant to create a transition to ones that are most drought resistant. Your local garden center can assist you in picking out which drought
tolerant plants and shrubs would be best for your landscape.
Although there are watering restrictions in most cities, it is still possible for your plants to flourish.
In order to encourage strong root growth and in turn grow drought tolerant plants, they should only be watered once or twice a week. Infrequent but deep waterings
help plants establish deep roots.
Keep moisture in the ground where it is needed by covering the garden soil with
a layer of mulch. The mulch keeps the moisture in, keeps the roots cool and helps control weeds that compete with plantings for water. The best time to mulch
is now. Mulching before the summer heat results in considerable water conservation.
Many lawns have turned brown due to the lack of rain and the increase in watering restrictions.
Depending on the restriction stage, there are a number of actions you can take to help your grass survive the drought. The Texas A&M University Turf Program
offers the following advice for certain levels of restrictions.
Restricted hours; alternate day use depending on address number
Continue deep and infrequent waterings to establish and maintain
deep roots; remove only 1/3 of the grass blade when
mowing; reduce fertility programs and nitrogen levels
Outdoor water usage limited to once a week
Same approach as Stage II; use a handheld hose to water areas that show signs of stress
All outdoor water usage is prohibited, except for handheld hoses with manual valves
Use a hose to water areas of high priority or are showing severe signs of stress; cease
watering the lawn to allow it to go dormant
All outdoor water usage is prohibited
|Allow grass to go dormant
Maintaining your lawn and garden is just as important as prepping and planting.
Proper maintenance will keep your landscape healthy and thriving even through the Texas heat and drought.