Austin Native Landscaping Blog

News and Views

Water Conservation and Composting Define the Month of August

Even with high temperatures and drought-like conditions, the residents of this part of Texas are still spending time out of doors, nurturing gardens and enjoying some of the first fruits of their labors. This month’s line up offers guidelines for gardening during a time of drought, how to pep up your soil, and resources for nurturing your entire landscape. Don’t forget to stop in at one of this summer’s Farmer’s Markets.


Utilizing Water Efficiently During Times of Drought


Stage 2 Water Restrictions – City of Austin


The City of Austin is currently under Stage 2 Water Restrictions in response to our drought-like conditions. This means that watering is limited to one day a week. Check the website for the time frames that apply to you. Are you looking for more ways to save water? Visit this website.


Bring Water Conservation Closer to Home – Water Conservation Speakers Bureau


The hottest part of the year is settling in across the State and with that often comes a greater need for water conservation. The Water Conservation Speakers Bureau is available for day and evening presentations and often participates in festivals and informational fairs. Did you know that you can schedule them to speak at a neighborhood event? Learn more about water conservation as a whole, effective irrigation methods, leak detection, and how to avoid water waste.


Water Efficiently With Drip Irrigation – The Natural Gardener


With water restrictions in full swing, you’ll be anxious not to waste a single drop of that precious liquid. Find out how to send water directly into the soil without losing it to run off or evaporation. This free class on drip irrigation is taught by Pat Dillon, a local expert with more than 35 years of experience.


Saturday, August 1, 9:00am – 10:00am


Mulch, Mushrooms, and Chickens: What Do these Have in Common?


Nourish Your Soil – Dillo Dirt


How informed are you about the dirt in your landscaping? Are you aware of the many ways that carefully cultivated soil can aid in water retention and better feed the plants in your yard? The City of Austin has participated in the Dillo Dirt program for a little more than 25 years. Yard trimmings, gathered from curbsides across the City, are actively composted and cured for several months. The result is soil that is rich in organic matter. This recycling process represents less of a cost to the community than if the materials had been dumped in a landfill. Have you benefited from the Dillo Dirt program? Take time to check it out today!


Learn to Compost at Home – Home Composting Rebate Program


Compost is rich in essential plant nutrients, aids in water retention, and nurtures your plants into beautiful health. Mix compost into your soil or in landscaping pots. You can also spread it across the soil as mulch. Did you know that the City of Austin offers a Home Composting Rebate Program? Get started composting at home and learn more about the rebate program by attending a free class:


Hope Farmer’s Market: Plaza Saltillo                       Sunday, August 2, 11:30am – 12:30pm

SFC Farmer’s Market: The Triangle Park                 Wednesday, August 5, 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Texas Farmer’s Market at Mueller                           Sunday, August 23, 10:30am – 11:30am


Backyard Basics: Backyard Chickens – Travis Extension Service


Did you know that backyard chickens serve as a handy way to recycle your food and yard waste? Keep those scraps out of the garbage and put them to work as chicken food. The chickensbiorecycle that waste into a nutrient-rich soil additive for your garden. They offer further benefits as they eat up insects and weeds. Even their tendency to scratch and dig improves the health of your vegetables and flower beds. Learn more about these amazing backyard helpers at this informative talk presented by Master Gardener Ally Stresing.


Thursday, August 6, 10:00am – 12:00pm


Healthy Soil, Healthy Body – The Natural Gardener


What’s growing in your soil? The nutrients found in your soil will affect your overall health because soil is naturally home to microbes. Learn more about how soil affects your health and what you can do through composting to create a healthy microbiome. Sign up for this discussion presented by Dr. Stuart Nunnally, D.D.S., M.S., N.M.D., Betsy Ross, and JR Builta, two soil science gurus.


Saturday, August 8, 9:00am – 10:00am


Fungi: What Are They? – The Natural Gardener


With all of that rain and flooding earlier this year, some homeowners have noticed mushrooms in their yards growing in large numbers and great varieties. Many people spend time trying to get rid of those fungi, but Lorig Hawkins will teach you why they might be something you should keep. Mushrooms are an important part of soil ecosystems. Sit down with us for this presentation on fungi.


Saturday, August 15, 9:00am – 10:00am


Like Life, Few Gardens Have Only Flowers


A-GardeningWe Grow…


The Central Texas Horticulture page of the Texas A&MAgriLife Extension website is filled with articles, how-to blogs, informational guides, gardening tips, and information about city-wide programs and campaigns. Visit this website to learn more about how to keep your property and neighborhood looking and feeling beautiful.


Fight Droughts With Trees – TreeFolks


Is it okay to plant trees during a drought? This is absolutely a good time to plant. Trees conserve water, so adding them to your landscape is a great way to lower air temperatures and reduce water loss. Trees are very active participants in counteracting the effects of drought and improving water conservation conditions. During the summer and fall, TreeFolks evaluates yards, looking for suitable homes for trees. Would your yard qualify this year? Learn more about the NeighborWoods program to find out.


Summer and Fall Evaluations


Monarch Butterfly, Pollinator Poster Child – The Natural Gardener


The Monarch butterfly fall migration is drawing closer. Will your garden attract the attention of these beneficial pollinators? Monika Maeckle, of the Texas Butterfly Ranch, will share ideas about creating pollinator gardens to invite these helpful guests to your yard. Butterflies improve seed and fruit production, pollinate flowers, and delight the eye. Arrive early to this class because it fills up fast!


Saturday, August 22, 9:00am – 10:00am


Community and Volunteer Events


Take a look at some of the volunteer opportunities available to you in August. These events provide you with access to local experts on many ecological subjects, opportunities to meet and make new friends, and the chance to learn how your property affects the community as a whole. Please dress appropriately and come prepared to work.


Workday at Blunn Creek Nature Preserve                            Saturday, August 1, 9:00am – 12:00pm

Clean Lady Bird Lake                                                                       Saturday, August 8, 9:00am – 11:00am

Windsor Park West – Tannehill Branch Creek Cleanup     Saturday, August 15, 9:00am – 12:00pm

Barton Creek Greenbelt Cleanup – Twin Falls                      Saturday, August 22, 9:00am – 11:00am

Williamson Creek Beautification                                                                Saturday, August 29, 9:00am – 11:00am


SFC Farmer’s Market Downtown – Republic Square Park


Whether you have fruits and vegetables growing in your yard or not, you’ll enjoy the food, music, and friendly interactions at the SFC Farmer’s Market. We are open on Saturdays all year-round, no matter the weather. Come find out why this popular event has been growing stronger since 2003.


Saturdays, 9:00am – 1:00pm


SFC Farmers’ Market at Sunset Valley – Toney Burger Center


A slightly smaller version of the Downtown Market, this SFC Farmer’s Market is visited by hundreds of repeat visitors. We enjoy the produce of local and visiting farmers, the Imagination Playground, live music, and plenty of great food.

Saturdays, 9:00am – 1:00pm


Will There Be Enough Water for Your Landscape?


June may have had more than enough water with over 8 inches and too many areas of flooding, but the lack of precipitation in July has left the city under drought restrictions. Participate in classes and events having to do with water conservation and composting to learn how your landscape can still thrive. Act down to prepare for fall gardening and get outside with community volunteers. There’s plenty to keep you busy in August.


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