Rainwater harvesting turf management training rescheduled to Oct. 5 in Seguin

Contacts: John W Smith, 979-845-2761, johnwsmith@tamu.edu

Reagan Hejl, 979-845-5252, Reagan.hejl@tamu.edu

Diane Boellstorff, 979-458-3562, dboellstorff@tamu.edu

Ben Wherley, 979-845-1591, b-wherley@tamu.edu

Ward Ling, 979-845-6980, wling@tamu.edu

SEGUIN – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is hosting a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management training with the Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed Partnership Oct. 5 in Seguin.

The event was originally set for Aug. 29 but was rescheduled due to flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

The free event will be from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Irma Lewis Seguin Outdoor Learning Center, 1865 U.S. Highway 90 E. Seating is limited, so attendees are requested to RSVP to John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at 979-845-2761 or johnwsmith@tamu.edu.

A Healthy Lawns Healthy Waters program is slated for Oct. 5 in Seguin. (Texas Agricultural Experiment Station photo by Dr. Milt Engelke)

The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program aims to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing awareness and knowledge of best management practices, coordinators said. Attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems and appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions.

Ward Ling, AgriLife Extension program specialist and Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed Partnership coordinator, will discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in Geronimo and Alligator creeks.

Dr. Ben Wherley, Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass/ecology scientist, College Station, said management practices such as irrigation delivery equipment, interpreting soil tests and understanding nutrient applications can help reduce runoff and provide additional landscape irrigation water.

“These practices can improve understanding of rainwater harvesting and landscape management,” he said.

Dr. Diane Boellstorff, AgriLife Extension water resource specialist, College Station, said proper fertilizer application and efficient water irrigation can protect and improve water quality in area creeks, and collecting rainwater for lawn and landscape needs reduces stormwater runoff.

Participants can have their soil tested as part of the training. Residents can pick up a free soil sample bag with sampling instructions from the AgriLife Extension offices in Guadalupe and Comal counties. Bags will be available at least a week before the event and should be turned in at the beginning of the training.

The soil sample bag and analysis are free to Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program participants.

Soil samples will be submitted to the AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab  for routine analysis, including pH, conductivity and nitrate-nitrogen.

During the program, there will be a review of how to understand soil test results and nutrient recommendations so residents can interpret results once they receive their analysis.

For more information about the Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed Protection Plan, go to http://www.geronimocreek.org/.

Funding for the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is provided in part through Clean Water Act grants from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

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