Story by Nicholas Sakelaris | CoServ
Whatever you call it, the trend to use more native plants, perennials and deciduous plantings to conserve water, fertilizer and precious resources is gaining momentum in Texas.
CoServ is your electric cooperative and natural gas utility but we also promote conservation, and that includes preserving nature and protecting the environment. As the population in our state grows, it’s in all of our best interests to do what we can to conserve energy and resources – especially water.
Unless you have a water well on your property, water typically takes quite a journey before it gets to your home. This water originates in lakes that are dozens or even hundreds of miles away. It’s pumped through transmission lines, goes through a lengthy process at the local treatment center and gets pumped into your city’s water tower and then pumped again before it reaches your house.
CoServ powers much of North Texas’ water infrastructure, including water towers and pumping stations. So, conserving water and using it more effectively ultimately saves electricity, too.
“Good, quality water is something we kind of take for granted,” said Janet Laminack, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent with Denton County. “We get most of our water from our lakes.”
Janet said she has adopted the term Earth Kind for this type of landscaping because xeriscape has taken on a negative connotation with its use of gravel, rocks and various cactus species.
Before you make any dramatic changes, the first step is knowing when to water your lawn and garden and for how long. There are several apps available that can be your guide on when to water your lawn based on recent weather conditions.
Most years, yards only need to be watered three times a week for a few weeks out of the year, Janet said. Most of the time, you can water it less. When there is a drought, like in 2011, more watering may be required.
Another exception would be grass and plants that are trying to get established. Whether you’re dealing with drought-like conditions or newly planted grass, let a watering app be your guide.
Mulch is a great way to deter weeds without chemicals, retain moisture and maintain soil temperature while using less water. As the wood chips biodegrade, they provide nutrients to the garden, Janet said.
Another trick to watering your lawn is to put an inch of water down in one area, water another area, then come back and water that area again. That gives the water time to soak into the soil before you water again.
By following these tips, you can still have a beautiful lawn and garden while also reducing your impact on the environment.