Rainwater harvesting, turf management training Feb. 7 in Wimberley

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A free Healthy Lawns Healthy Waters program will be held Feb. 7 in Wimberley. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

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

Dr. Becky Grubbs, 979-845-3041, bgrubbs@tamu.edu

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

WIMBERLEY – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program will host a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management training Feb. 7 in Wimberley.

The training is free and will be from 1-5 p.m. at the Wimberley Community Center, 14068 Ranch Road 12. It is offered in collaboration with the Cypress Creek Watershed Partnership.

Seating is limited. Those interested may RSVP online at https://bit.ly/2CKzdSV or contact John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at johnwsmith@tamu.edu or 979-845-2761.

The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program aims to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing awareness and knowledge of best management practices for residential landscapes, Smith said.

Rainwater harvesting will be one of the topics to be addressed at the Healthy Lawns Healthy Waters program. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Dr. Becky Grubbs, AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist, College Station, said attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems, appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions and other practices.

“Management practices such as using irrigation delivery equipment, interpreting soil test results and understanding nutrient applications can help reduce runoff and make efficient use of applied landscape irrigation water,” Grubbs said.

Dr. Diane Boellstorff, AgriLife Extension water resource specialist in Texas A&M University’s soil and crop sciences department, 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. The soil sample bag and analysis are free to Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program participants. Residents can pick up a soil sample bag with sampling instructions at the AgriLife Extension office in Hays County, 200 Stillwater Road in Wimberley. Bags containing residents’ soil samples may be brought to the training.

Soil testing

Participants can bring soil samples for testing. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Soil samples will be delivered to the AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab in College Station for routine analysis, including pH, conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen and other parameters.

The training will include information on how to understand soil test results and nutrient recommendations so residents can interpret results once the analysis is mailed to them.

Also during the program, Nick Dornak, watershed coordinator for Cypress Creek Watershed, will discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in Cypress Creek.

For more information about the Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan, go to http://www.cypresscreekproject.net/watershed-committee/.

Funding for the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is provided in part through Clean Water Act 319 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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