Rainwater harvesting, turf management training set for May 7 in Boerne

A Healthy Lawns Healthy Waters program will be held May 7 in Boerne. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kay Ledbetter)

BOERNE – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program will host a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management training May 7 in Boerne.

The free program will be from 1-5 p.m. at the City of Boerne Library, 451 N. Main St., Building 100.

The training is offered in collaboration with the Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed Partnership.

Seating is limited to 75. Attendees are requested to RSVP online at http://bit.ly/2HsE6Ul or by contacting John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist in College Station, at 979-845-2761 or johnwsmith@tamu.edu.

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.

Dr. Becky Grubbs, AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist, College Station, said attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems as well as appropriate turf and landscape species selection 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 the soil and crop sciences department, College Station, said proper fertilizer application and efficient water irrigation can protect and improve water quality in area creeks.

Soil testing

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

“And collecting rainwater for lawn and landscape needs reduces stormwater runoff,” she added.

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 offices in:

  • Kendall County, 210 E. San Antonio, Suite 9 in Boerne.

  • Kerr County, 3775 Texas Highway 27 in Kerrville.

  • Gillespie County, 95 Frederick Road in Fredericksburg.

Bags containing soil samples may be brought to the training. 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.

For more information about the Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed Protection Plan, go to https://bit.ly/2TZ4dDZ.

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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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

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