TGR NEWS - September 2022
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When early spring rolls around, many people can’t wait to get outdoors and into their gardens and landscapes to start the planting process. However, the fall months present some very distinct advantages for beginning your landscape work, and this month is a great time to start the planning process.
Fall planting follows the heat of summer, before a cool winter season, and trees and shrubs planted in the fall use this to good advantage. According to Texas AgriLife horticulture experts, plant roots grow anytime the soil temperature is 40 degrees or higher, which can occur all winter in South Texas. So you can use the fall and winter months to establish a good root system for new plants so when spring arrives, those hearty roots can support a new surge of spring growth.
So now that your’e ready to start your fall planting this year, here’s where the planning comes in. All plants have growing requirements. What soil types do you have? Will it grow in sun or shade? Does it need a wet or dry location? Can the plants you identify take on some cold weather? The bottom line is, proper planning will help your plants establish themselves and grow the best when we get to spring. Plus, adding to your landscape is an investment in dollars and time, so you don’t want to waste resources, which includes our water resources, by placing those beautiful new native plants you found at the nursery in the wrong spot in your yard.
So, take your time this month to identify which part of your landscape you want to start working on. Browse the great resources on the internet for the types of native plants that will fit perfectly in the location you’ve chosen. Every plant in the landscape should serve a purpose. Ask yourself if you want a plant for screening, for privacy, or for shade. How large will it be five years from now? Keep in mind those small one-gallon plants will look very different after a few years of enjoying your landscape.
Once you have narrowed down your choices of native plants for each area of your yard, break out the pencil and paper and sketch out your ideas. It is always easier to move plants around on paper than it is after planting them. So have a solid plan in mind before you head out to buy those native plants. It will save you time and money and you will be doing your part in conserving our water resources.
What? Water My Yard Once a Month? It is Possible
The Trinity Glen Rose District and Gardening Volunteers of South Texas work together each month to help homeowners learn how to create great looking landscapes that use very little water through its Go Gardening Show.
Because September is a great time to start planning for fall landscape upgrades, Go Gardening is bringing you three videos with that emphasizes the horticulturist’s maxim of “plan before you plant.”
The first segment takes you on a tour of one homeowner’s backyard which will be converted into an outdoor living area. You will get some great ideas of all the basics which go into planning for such a project. Then, because this type of project can net a very nice rebate for San Antonio Water System (SAWS) customers, Go Gardening spoke to SAWS representatives to get the details of how to go about applying for and receiving that rebate, which can range from $300-$1,000 depending on the amount of grass area you replace. And finally, the Go Gardening team talked to another homeowner who completed the whole process of converting a yard from Bermuda grass to a colorful wildscape which attracts butterflies and hummingbirds when the native plants bloom. Even during this most recent hot and dry spell, this homeowner only watered his landscape once a month.
Landscape watering is still one of the heaviest drains on a community’s water resources, especially during the extended summer months experienced in South Texas. For that reason, the Trinity Glen Rose District will continue its quest to help home and business owners understand the benefits of converting turf grass yards to native landscapes. We hope you join us in that pursuit of preserving our natural resources.
Next WaterSaver Landscape Design School Set for Sept. 10
Need a little help with making your landscape great looking and water-saving? Then you should sign up for the Gardening Volunteers of South Texas Landscape Design School scheduled for Saturday, September 10. It will be held at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place, from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
The class is comprised of four sessions of speakers and ends with an optional one on one design consultation for personalized information (attendees should bring a sketch and/or pictures of their landscape). Attendees will receive various plant and landscape guide books that will be utilized throughout the program.
Here is a sample of what you’ll learn:
Why it’s important to create your design before you buy your plants
How to improve your soil
Basics of plant selection, including recommended varieties of native and adapted plants
How to create a design that works with your property’s shape
Session 1: Planning a landscape.
Session 2: Designing a landscape; utilize each area with a cohesive design to fit each homeowner.
Session 3: Basic needs including soil, mulch, fertilizer, and sun/shade areas.
Session 4: Plant materials; create beautiful, low water use gardens, that will thrive in San Antonio.
The GVST WaterSaver Landscape Design School is sponsored by Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District and San Antonio Water System. Space is limited so consider registering today!
Light refreshments will be served
Learn more and sign up here - www.sabot.org/events/watersaver-landscape-design-school
Time to Have your Sprinkler System Checked
July through September is typically the hottest and driest stretch of weather we see in South Texas each year. Any by now you know that means that your water conservation knowledge and skills should be on high alert. Because landscape watering can account for up to 60 percent of the city’s water use during this time of year, the Trinity Glen Rose District always like to remind homeowners and business owners to have their sprinkler systems inspected before the systems are turned on for regular use. Wasted water cannot be retrieved, so you only get one chance to efficiently use the water provided by the city’s water resources such as the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers.
The quickest do-it-yourself way to check your system is to start it up and then inspect each of the sprinkler heads in all of the system’s zones. Look for broken heads or heads that have sunken below ground. Then make sure that the heads are not watering the streets and sidewalks. Then you can observe whether there is adequate water pressure feeding each sprinkler head. A broken pipe or sprinkler head can drain away pressure and waste significant amounts of water.
Also, if you have been slowly and steadily replacing high water use plants with native low water use plants, you might make sure that your sprinkler system either does not water areas with native plants or waters only a little.
Here is some great news for you. The Trinity Glen Rose District and San Antonio Water System have teamed up over the last few years to offer free irrigation system consultation programs. In fact, TGR will give you a $50 coupon to have the consultation done. Just go to www.TrinityGlenRose.com/conservation for more information.
TGR 2021 Annual Report
The Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (TGR) just published its 2021 Annual Report. The TGR board reviewed the report in early March and approved the document for publication at its March meeting.
The 2021 Annual Report provides good background on the:
purpose of the district
well monitoring work
financial position, and
community outreach programs
This year, the District included two charts which outline TGR’s involvement in regional GMA-9 joint water planning efforts required by the State of Texas. The charts provide a 10-year history of water use in the region and how that compares to the region’s goals for water production from the Trinity Aquifer. Those goals are known as “desired future conditions.”