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WaterSaver newsletter
Monday, August 31, 2009 Back to Issue Archive
Drought Recovery Program and Rebate Packages
By Dana Nichols
Develop a plan for your landscape. This will help you avoid impulse buys and help identify financial resources you'll need to carry out your goals.

Over the next few weeks this space will serve as your step-by-step guide to transforming your drought-ravaged landscape into a Texas-tough, water-saving landscape.

To help jump-start your efforts, SAWS is offering rebates – for a limited time – for converting turf grass to mulched beds or pervious hardscape, as well as for irrigation system redesigns. Additionally, you'll be able to take advantage of our ongoing WaterSaver Landscape rebate program for potential rebate totals of more than $900.

First things first, develop a plan. For many, especially those of us who are not great at sketching, this is the hardest part. It helps to not view your plan as an unchangeable document. The details of your plan will likely change many times before you're done. Of course, if you love gardening you will never truly be finished anyway. And that's OK, too.

A well-thought-out plan makes you think before you act – helping you avoid impulse buys, and identify financial resources you'll need to carry out your goals. Also, if you're converting an existing landscape, having a plan allows you to tackle your yard in stages.

This week's assignment: brainstorm about how you and your family want to use your yard. Do you need turf for a play area or for pets? Do you want to attract birds and butterflies? Incorporate a space for a vegetable garden or entertaining? Do you prefer a manicured look or something more random? Write down your answers.

Then, visualize your new landscape. Use garden hoses to outline areas that could be converted from grass to mulched beds or hardscapes such as a deck or new patio area.

Dana Nichols is the outdoor conservation manager for San Antonio Water System.

Last Digit
of Street
0 or 1 Monday
2 or 3 Tuesday
4 or 5 Wednesday
6 or 7 Thursday
8 or 9 Friday
No watering on weekends with a sprinkler, soaker hose or irrigation system. Areas without a street address, such as medians and neighborhood entryways, water on Wednesday.
Watering with an irrigation system or sprinkler is allowed only once a week from 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. on your designated watering day as determined by your address.
Friday, May 23, 2014
0 in. Bermuda (Full Sun)
0 in. Buffalo (Full Sun)
0 in. St. Augustine (Full Sun)
0 in. St. Augustine (Shade)
0 in. Zoysia (Full Sun)
0 in. Zoysia (Shade)
Rain benefits continue this week with established plants. No water necessary. Hand water newly planted plants. Donna Fossum, SAWS Conservation Planner.

Ask A Garden Geek
My tree is losing all of its leaves. Is it going to die?
Stressed trees lose their leaves, but that does not mean they will die. Actually, they are shutting down early to protect themselves. Water deeply and slowly once a month to ensure survival.
E-mail your question to

Seasonal Star
Tenacious Trees
Large shade trees planted in the right areas and watered appropriately since they were young will scoff at drought. Help maintain their pride by mulching beneath their canopies with 2 inches of mulch and watering deeply once a month at the canopy drip line.
Past Peak
Dig Deep
If your grass is planted in shallow soil and it's in full sun, chances are it's not doing well. For grass to survive a drought – or to thrive in normal conditions for that matter – the deeper the soil, the better. At minimum, 6 inches of soil will do, but 8 to 12 inches is best. If this is not your situation, consider converting grass areas into shrub beds or hardscape.
Event Calendar
Big Bugs
Sept. 5 - Dec. 6
San Antonio
Botanical Garden
555 Funston
This exhibit alters viewers' perceptions and magnifies the role of insects as nature's hidden gardeners. Interactive programs for children and families, and integrated materials for educators, will be available at the Garden. For more information, call 207-3255.
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