Tips for making lawns more drought-resistant

As water becomes scarcer and more expensive, finding ways to conserve it becomes even more important, and making lawns more drought-resistant is one way to do so.

Grass selection

According to Dustin Coufal, Williamson County extension agent for agricultural and natural resources, the best drought-resistant grasses for Central Texas include buffalo grasses, many hybrid Bermuda grasses and some zoysia.

Grasses that go dormant and then turn green once a drought ends can be useful in the Texas heat. James McAfee, turfgrass specialist of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Dallas, said that while all grasses go dormant to some degree, buffalo does so best, while common Bermuda grass and some varieties of zoysia grasses are also good in the heat. St. Augustine grass has only a moderate level of drought resistance and will lose turfgrass during intense drought compared to other grasses, he said.

Watering

Based on the demand for water supplied by Cedar Park's water treatment plant, most irrigation systems turn on between 2–5 a.m., said Katherine Woerner, Cedar Park director of community affairs.

Kevin Farmer, owner of Farmer's Grass in Leander, said the best time to water grass is in the morning.

"The best time to water is before 10 a.m. because there is less evaporation, and you are not leaving water on the lawn, which promotes fungus growth," he said.

Farmer said ideally lawns should be watered three times a week, but the cities of Leander and Cedar Park are under restrictions that only allow watering by sprinkler twice a week on designated days.

That limited schedule may affect the often shallow or clay soils present in Central Texas, McAfee said.

"It's unfortunate, but in those situations, [people with shallow soil] should really water more often with less water," he said. "But when cities go to once-a-week water, there isn't the opportunity."

Ideally, water needs to seep 4– 6 inches into the soil, a difficult feat for homeowners with shallow or clay soil, McAfee said.

Mowing

"The mowing is the key," McAfee said. "Most people mow too infrequent and too low."

McAfee recommends setting mower blade levels high enough to cut only 30 percent to 40 percent of the leaf blade, which allows for a more extensive root system and retained moisture in the summer heat. However, that could mean mowing grasses such as Bermuda twice a week.



MOST RECENT

Homes are under construction in the Cross Creek development near 183A Toll in Cedar Park. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Cedar Park, Leander home sales slow in September

September home sales in Leander decreased 43% from 2020, but the average price reached $503,497—a 34% year-over-year increase.

Rodeo stock image
Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo ready to open gates Oct. 21 after coronavirus delay

After the inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo was postponed in 2020, county and fair officials said they are excited to kick off the agricultural celebration.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Black Rock Coffee Bar's menu features Americanos, drip coffees, cold brews, specialty lattes, teas and smoothies. (Courtesy Black Rock Coffee Bar)
4 businesses coming to Cedar Park, Leander; Barton Springs Pool reopens and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Williamson County Commissioners hope to vote on a new county precinct map before the end of November. The redistricting process comes after the county saw an explosion of population growth from 2010-20, according to census numbers. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Officials look to make new Williamson County precinct map available to public in early November

Williamson County will redraw its commissioner precinct map after the county saw a 44% growth in population over the past decade.

Perky Beans Cafe is located next to the coffee shop at 2080 US 183, Ste. 220, Leander. (Courtesy Perky Beans Cafe)
Perky Beans Cafe open for breakfast, lunch in north Leander

The cafe menu includes pancakes, omelets, eggs Benedict, sandwiches, mimosas and more.

The new H-E-B store is located on Ronald Reagan Boulevard in north Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: New H-E-B in Leander opening soon; Texas Supreme Court grants rehearing for high-speed rail eminent domain case and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 18.

black rock coffee bar interior
4 businesses coming to Cedar Park, Leander

Check out four businesses coming soon to the area, including fitness studios, a coffee shop and a therapy center. 

The new H-E-B store is located on Ronald Reagan Boulevard in north Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
New H-E-B in Leander opening soon

The store is scheduled to open Wednesday, Nov. 17.

The amended version of the planned development unit will now go to the Austin Planning Commission for review. (Rendering courtesy Austin Environmental Commission)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Austin commission OKs development plan near Lady Bird Lake; shopping center coming to Porter and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 15.