The Congo Valley receives a large portion of the annual rainfall during the harvest season, which is always a good relief from a long, hot summer. While we tend to focus more on water conservation during the dry season, it is also important to remember that in the fall. Fall is the busiest time of year in the area and in the garden – the best time of year to plant trees, shrubs, ground cover and many years of landscaping. When we replace damaged or dead plants and add new beds and landscaping features, let’s do it wisely, not only to preserve our water resources in the future, but also to improve the chances of plants growing all year round. Climate in western Texas.
The University of Texas A&M coined the term “earth-friendly landscape,” including water conservation and other environmental protection practices. Some of the first steps to create a more earth-like, water-saving landscape include careful plant selection, good soil preparation, and effective irrigation.
There are so many plants to choose from, it can be very difficult to know what plants are doing well and to meet landscape needs. Start at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/plant-selector/ from land-based plant selection resources. There is a list of trees and shrubs that do well in the Koncho Valley https://tomgreen.agrilife.org/horticulture/. See which plants grow and thrive in local parks and in your area. Choose native or well-adapted plants that work well with the local soil and climate.
Evaluate and improve soil before planting. Up to release and inhale, and include fertilizer to improve water retention and provide nutrients. After planting, apply a thick layer of wood to evaporate water wastage. Irrigate well-designed and properly installed drip irrigation. “Irrigation systems do not waste water, they destroy people,” says gardener Jump Richter. Even dripping irrigation can be watered or not used properly, and steam systems can be designed or improved to reduce and maintain evaporation. Irrigation “Don’t save it and don’t forget it”, systems need to be constantly reviewed and adjusted.
To learn more about landscape water conservation, as well as other topics, be sure to join the gardener’s annual harvest landscape symposium on Saturday, September 11th. Pre-registration is required before the end of September 8. And for more information, see https://txmg.org/conchovalley/ or call the Extension Office at 325-659-6522.
Allison Watkins is the Agarlif Extension Agent for Tomatoes and Fruits in Texas Green County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.