In our latest WFAA segment, water expert Denise Hickey and horticulturalist Patrick Dickinson shared how Earth Day is a great time of year for everyone to celebrate our environment. It’s also a great time to take a more “green” view of our landscapes. Planting just the right tree is a great “green” start, but there are several other elements to consider when managing your home or business landscaping and lawn options.
Trees are a valuable asset as they shield your home or building from sunlight, which reduces cooling costs throughout the hot Texas summer. When trees drop their leaves in winter, it allows the sun to shine through and helps keep your home warm. Tress also purify air, provide refuge for wildlife and even control erosion. Some great trees for North Texas include Red Oak, Chinquapin Oak, and Cedar Elm.
Water is our earth’s life source. You can enhance your green footprint through alternative watering sources like rainwater harvesting, efficient irrigation, and composting.
Collecting rainwater for reuse on our landscaping, gardens and lawns not only help you manage your summer water bill, but it also saves the water you would have used for essential needs like drinking, cooking and putting out fires. And, building your own rain barrel can be a fun family activity!
Efficient irrigation starts with a check up on your system prior to using. Remember to check and repair leaks, misdirected sprinkler heads or broken sprinkler heads. A broken sprinkler head can waste thousands of gallons of water, so it’s important to find it and fix it. Consider converting to a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation saves water by releasing it slowly at the root zone of the plant where it’s needed the most.
Composting is a natural process of recycling organic material such as leaves and vegetable scraps into a rich mixture. Adding compost to your landscape holds moisture longer and helps plants grow while also keeping these materials out of landfills.
When it comes to mowing your lawn, it’s best to do so weekly and make sure the mower blades are sharp. Avoid midday mowing. Not only is that typically the hottest part of the day for the person mowing, but it can help control water loss and reduce stress on your grass.
And the most important tip when it comes to watering your lawn? Only water when needed! Know when to water and when to wait at WaterMyYard.org. For other tips visit WaterUniversity.tamu.edu.
Now that you have given your lawn and landscape the full green treatment, get out there and enjoy it. Your new green life will thank you for it.