Water Conservation: In urban areas of Texas about 25 percent of the water supply is used for landscape and garden irrigation. Much of this water is used to maintain traditionally high water-demanding landscapes, or it is simply applied inefficiently. In an attempt to reduce the excessive water use, Texas Cooperative Extension is educating Texans on the principles of Earth-Kind landscaping to help preserve and protect our most valuable natural resource.
Low Volume Irrigation: Efficient irrigation is one of the key Earth-Kind practices for conserving water in the landscape. Low volume irrigation systems (sometimes referred to as drip or trickle irrigation) are among the most effective means of achieving significant water savings. Despite the tremendous potential for water conservation, these systems are not widely used in residential landscapes.
Irrigation Systems Auditing: It is the responsibility of all Texans to ensure that water is used wisely. An irrigation system audit has been shown to be the most effective tool for maximizing water use efficiency in the landscape. Here are some Earth-Kind tips for system operation and management that will help promote water conservation.
Mulch: One of the best methods of growing healthy plants and conserving water at the same time is to use mulch in the landscape. Experienced gardeners have long known the secret of mulching the garden and all its benefits. What is a mulch? Mulch is simply a protective ground covering that saves water, reduces evaporation, prevents erosion, controls weeds, and in the case of organic mulches, enriches the soil.
Rainwater Harvesting: In many Texas communities between 30% – 50% of the total water supply is used for landscape irrigation. Even if you live where annual rainfall averages only 12 inches, you can save money by collecting and storing rainwater and using it to irrigate trees, shrubs and lawns.
Raised Beds: Soil conditions throughout much of Texas are not well suited for landscape plant materials. Sandy soils tend to drain/dry out rapidly, while clay soils hold excessive amounts of moisture during periods of heavy rainfall. The key, in both situations, is to strike a balance between the aeration, drainage and water holding characteristics of the soil.