Helpful Tips and Recommendations
Lawns produce a significant amount of nutrient-rich storm water runoff, and research shows that such runoff could cause eutrophication in streams, lakes, and estuaries. Pesticide runoff can contaminate drinking water supplies with chemicals toxic to both humans and aquatic life. Many lawn owners are unaware to content of phosphorous and nitrogen in their fertilizer. Taking proper care of lawns is important to the Town. Below are several lawn care tips:
- Plant selection is important. Try choosing low-water-using flower, tree, shrub, and groundcover. Many of these plants need watering only in the first year.
- Improve your soil by mixing peat moss or compost into the soil before planting. This helps the soil to retain water. You can use terraces and retaining walls to reduce water run-off from sloped yards.
- Install water-efficient drip or trickle irrigation system.
- Limit the amount of grass area. Try to plant groundcovers, indigenous plants, or slow-growing, drought tolerant vegetation. If replanting lawns, use drought-tolerant grass seed mixes.
- Use a 3-inch-deep layer of mulch, such as pine needles, shredded leaves, or bark. Mulch will keep soil moist, prevent erosion, and smother weeds.
What to Do with Fall Leaves?According to Texas A&M AgriLife, roughly 20 percent of solid waste generated in Texas is yard waste, which includes grass clippings, leaves, branches, and other landscape debris. Of this 20 percent, about half is composed of tree leaves. Bagging leaves and getting rid of them through curbside trash pick-up has many downsides including taking up costly landfill space, and producing methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide, once there.
The most environmentally-friendly option for fallen leaves is to leave them on the lawn. Run them over with the lawnmower to break them down into smaller pieces, to remain there through winter. As the leaves breakdown, they provide valuable nutrients to the soil and can reduce the need for environmentally-harmful and expensive fertilizers and weed-killers in the spring.
Leave the Leaves Tips:
- Run over leaves with a lawnmower and leave them on the lawn
- Use leaves as mulch in vegetable gardens, flower beds, and around shrubs and trees
- Gather leaves into pile and allow them to decompose, then use this in the spring as a fertilizer