Environmental Initiatives

Water Wise Landscape

Did you know that residential outdoor water use across the United States accounts for nearly 8 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation (US Environmental Protection Agency)?  Oftentimes, the water used for landscape irrigation is the same water that people drink – and as Texans, we know that the supply of water is always a concern.  We have a few tips and tricks to consider when you make decisions about what plants to choose for your landscape beds and lawns and how to maintain them to help decrease the amount of landscape irrigation required.

1. Selecting native and adapted plants for your landscape is always the ideal choice.  These types of plants can handle the harsh summer conditions in Round Rock with increased heat and drought tolerance.  They are also typically adapted to the types of insects and diseases common in this area, as well as they clay and rocky soil present.  This decreases the amount of fertilizers and pesticides that you need to apply to keep the landscape and lawn looking great.

2. Applying 2”-4” of mulch around your planted areas will help your plants absorb more water, as well as increase the water holding capacity of the soil.  It also helps decrease the amount of water evaporation and keep the soil at a lower temperature during the summer and a warmer temperature during the winter, thus making it easier for your plants to survive extreme weather events.  An added benefit is that mulch also increases nutrients in the soil as it decomposes acting as a natural fertilizer.  The Round Rock Brush Recycling Center (310 Deep Wood Drive) offers free mulch for all City of Round Rock residents for residential usage.

3. When choosing a turf for your lawn, be sure to choose a drought tolerant grass.  These types of grasses look great even with minimal irrigation.  Additionally, don’t cut your grass too low when mowing.  It is recommended that you cut no more than 1/3 of the length of your grass blade each time you mow.  Longer grass can help shade the ground, thus keeping the temperature lower and helps the soil hold more moisture by decreasing evaporation.  Finally, leave the grass clippings on the ground instead of bagging them.  These clippings act as a type of mulch and provide all of the benefits discussed above.

For more information about Water Wise Landscaping and a list of available resources, please visit the City’s website:  https://www.roundrocktexas.gov/city-departments/utilities-and-environmental-services/water/conservation/outdoor-water-use/water-wise-landscaping/

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