The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management online training Aug. 11 for residents of Jackson and Lavaca counties.
The training is offered in collaboration with the Lavaca River Watershed Partnership.
The free training will be from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. with a half-hour break for lunch. Participation is limited and online registration is required.
Those who RSVP to the event will receive updates, instructions to join the online meeting and materials related to the meeting via email.
“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.
Becky Grubbs-Bowling, Ph.D., Texas Water Resources Institute, or TWRI, urban water specialist, Dallas, said attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems as well as 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-Bowling said.
Diane Boellstorff, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension water resource specialist in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, 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 and the Urban and Homeowner Soil Sample Information Form beginning July 7 at the AgriLife Extension office in Jackson County, 411 N. Wells, Suite 111, Edna, or the AgriLife Extension office in Lavaca County, 300 S. Lagrange St., Hallettsville.
“Attendees can submit a soil test by dropping their soil sample off to the AgriLife Extension offices in Jackson or Lavaca counties prior to or by one week after the meeting,” Smith said.
Bags containing residents’ soil samples should be returned to the location where they were obtained and not mailed directly to the sampling lab. Samples will be grouped into one submission and sent to the AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab in College Station for routine analysis, including micronutrients, 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.
Emily Monroe, AgriLife Extension program specialist with TWRI and watershed coordinator for the Lavaca River Watershed, will discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in this watershed.
The Lavaca River Watershed Protection Plan provides an overview of water body improvement project efforts for the watershed.
Funding for the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is provided in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreements to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.