Spring into action
Water in the morning to allow the lawn to absorb more before it evaporates in the midday heat. If you use sprinklers, set them to provide larger drops close to the ground. Steer clear of misters, since they can cause the water to evaporate quickly. Always comply with local watering restrictions. Download our Landscape Irrigation Guide for details.
Lawn and garden watering accounts for up to half of total household water use. Collect rainwater for landscape use. It is great for the plants and saves water and money. By collecting rainwater from just 10 percent of the residential roof area in Texas, we could conserve more than 30 billion gallons of water a year. Watch "How to Build a Rain Barrel" video, and download Rainwater Harvesting with Rain Barrels Guide.
Use less pesticide and fertilizers—compost instead
More is not always better when fertilizing your yard. Excessive watering or rain can wash away the chemical excess, wasting money and endangering nearby waterways—the most frequent cause of surface and groundwater contamination. Minimize environmental impact by following the directions using the recommended amount. Download our Managing 10 Common Texas Yard Pests Guide.
Leaves, grass clippings, and other yard waste make up 20 percent of the trash sent to landfills each year, costing Texans more than $250 million a year in collection and disposal costs. Recycle yard materials by composting them instead. Compost conditions soil and reduces the need for outdoor watering by up to 60 percent. Watch our "How to Start Composting in Your Own Backyard" video, or download our Mulching and Composting Guide.
Use Native Texas Plants
Plants native to Texas help conserve water and protect the soil. They also require less pesticide, fertilizer, and maintenance—all saving you time and money. The deep root systems of many native plants also increase the soil’s capacity to store water and reduce runoff. Explore the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Database to see which plants are best for your region.
Visit TakeCareofTexas.org for ways to conserve water and energy, reduce waste, keep the air and water clean, and save money. Then, pledge to Take Care of Texas, and we’ll mail you a free Texas State Parks Guide.
For your convenience, we've created an infographic with the tips listed above. Download the infographic to share by e-mail or on social media. Ask your friends and followers to do their part this spring to Take Care of Texas.