Rainwater harvesting, turf management training set for Feb. 22-23

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KYLE/SAN ANTONIO – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is hosting two residential rainwater harvesting and turf management trainings in Kyle and San Antonio on Feb. 22 and 23, respectively.

Both events are free and open to the public. Participants at either training can also have their soil tested free of charge. Both trainings will review how to assess soil test results and provide nutrient recommendations.

The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program aims to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing awareness and knowledge of best management practices, coordinators said. Attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems and appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions.

The first training, in collaboration with the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership, will be from 1-5 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Kyle City Hall, 100 W. Center St. in Kyle.

The second training, in collaboration with the Upper San Antonio River Authority Watershed Partnership, will be from 1-5 p.m. Feb. 23 in the conference room at the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge St. Suite 208 in San Antonio.

Seating is limited, so attendees for either program are requested to register at the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters website. Those attending the program in Kyle should register at https://hlhw.tamu.edu/workshops/2018/kyle/.

Those planning to attend the San Antonio program should register at https://hlhw.tamu.edu/workshops/2018/san-antonio/.

Those interested in either program can also contact John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at 979-845-2761 or johnwsmith@tamu.edu.

Dr. Ben Wherley, Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass/ecology scientist, College Station, said management practices such as using irrigation delivery equipment, interpreting soil tests and understanding nutrient applications can help reduce runoff and provide additional landscape irrigation water.

“These practices can improve understanding of rainwater harvesting and landscape management,” he said.

Dr. Diane Boellstorff, AgriLife Extension water resource specialist, 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.

Reagan Hejl, research associate in the soil and crop sciences department, College Station, said soil samples will be submitted to the AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab for routine analysis, including pH, conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen and other parameters.

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