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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
April 24, 2013     Hays Free Press
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April 24, 2013

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Hays Free Press April 24, 2013 NEIGHBORS Page 3C SUBMITrED REPORT Even though we have re- ceived some needed rain in the past few weeks, we are still experiencing drought conditions. As we continue to experience these drought conditions, it is everyone's re- sponsibilityto do their .part in conserving our precious water resources. If we do not practice conservation now, we will have more fre- quent and more severe water shortages. There are some simple things that you can do outdoors to reduce the amount of wa- ter you are using outdoors in the landscape. One question that is asked most often in regards to out- door water- ing is, "When should I water my grass?" Pay attention to signs of stressed grass. Symp- toms of drought stress include grass leaves turning a dull, bluish color, leaf blades roll- ing or folding, and footprints that remain in the grass after walking across the lawn. To time watering properly, look for the area of the lawn that shows water stress first. Water the entire lawn when that area begins to show symptoms. Rather than watering on the same schedule each week, adjust your watering schedule according to the weather. Ir- rigate deeply. Then wait until the grass begins to show signs of drou.ght stress before water- mg again. A lawn that is watered deep- ly should generally be able to go five to eight days between waterings. Established lawns with deep, extensive root sys- tems sometimes can be we- tered less often. However, if soft is less than 5 inches deep, irrigation may need to be more frequent. Early morning is the best time to water. Wind and tem- peratures are usually the low- est of the day, and water pres- sure is generally good. That allows water Rather than to be applied evenly and with watering on little loss from evaporation. the same Watering late in schedule each the evening or week, adjust at night causes leavestoremaln your watering wet for an ex- tended period schedule of time, which according to the increases the chance for dis- weather. Irrigate ease. Mid-af- deeply. Then ternoon water- ing may cause wait until the unevendistri- bution from grass begins to high winds. show signs of Thoroughly wet the soft drought stress to a depth of before watering 6 inches with each watering. again, Shallow water- ing produces weak, shallow-rooted grass that is more susceptible to drought stress. In some softs, especially heavy clay, it is dif- ficult to irrigate 6 inches deep. Never apply water to the point of run off. Water lost as run off finds its way to sidewalks or cement gutters. If a sprinkler applies water faster than the soft can absorb it, stop irrigat- ing until the surface dries and then resume watering. If the opportunity presents itself, by all means harvest rainwater and use it for land- scaping purposes! Funnel the water from your gutters into a barrel or cistern and save it for a sunny day. Rainwater is free, and it is better for your plants because it doesn't con- tain hard minerals. Also, the pH of rainwater may be better for plants. Mowing grass to the proper height can also reduce the amount of water needed on a lawn. Taller grass holds mois- ture better, encourages deeper root growth, and makes it less susceptible to browning. Mow Bermuda grass to a height of 2 to 2 1/2 inches; St. Augus- tine grass should be mowed to a height of 3 inches. When mowing, make sure that the mowing blades are sharp and don't cut more than one-third of the leaf length at one time. Don't bag those clippings! Mulched grass clippings break down fast and provide nu- trients for the soft. They also help hold in moisture, reduce evaporation, and moderate soil temperature. In addition to grass clippings, mulches will help your shrubs and young trees more tolerant to the scorching Texas heat. One to 3 inches of mulch retains moisture, reduces runoff, helps moderate soil tempera- tures, aids in root develop- ment, reduces erosion, slows weed growth, prevents soft compaction, and makes your landscape attractive. Native plants are plants that are adapted for a particular cli- mate or region. These plants are drought-tolerant (or at least have low water require- ments), heat tolerant, and are tolerant of the minimum win- ter temperatures in the area. Planting native plants can still provide for beautiful land- scaping, but reduce the needs for water. Other ways that a person can minimize water loss out- side is to cover swimming pools and spas when not in use to lessen evaporation. In the summer months, a 3O-foot by 15-foot swimming pool can easily lose 1 1/z inches of water a week, or 1,800 gallons of water a month. Decorative fountains should be turned off on windy days and during drought. Water conservation is the responsibility of everyone. Taking a few small steps today can make a tremendous dif- ference in your water usage tomorrow. It's About Thyme Continued from pg. 1C shaded in the afternoon. This is another reason for keeping mine in a pot for a while- so I have more control over the conditions until it is bigger and stronger. Fertilize regularly with an organic fertilizer throughout the growing season and water regularly, but don't let the tree sit in water. Drainage is essential. Avocados typically flower in the late winter to early spring and fruit will develop roughly 6 months later on the Mexican types. Because of the warm weather this last winter mine was actually in flower by early December. Determining when to pick the fruit is a little bit of a guessing game as the fruit will not ripen on the tree. The best way to tell is to pick one or two of the largest fruits and let them sit on the counter for a week or two. If they ripen, then the rest of the larger ones should be ready too. When I was a kid the servers at a Mexican restaurant my parents would frequent re- ferred to me as 'the guacamole kid' because that was all I was interested in eating. Although my taste is more varied now, if I was given a choice of one food to live off for the rest of my life.., it would probably still be the avocado. If you have a gardening question, send it to me via email: (Please put ?ksk Chris Win- slow' in the subject line.) Or mail your letter or postcard to: Ask Chris Winslow. It's About Thyme: 11726 Man- chaca Road, Austin, TX 78748 Buda Bits Continued from pg. 1C Wiener dogs will take over Buda this weekend with the annual Country Fair and Wiener Dog Races sponsored by the Buda Lions Club. All events take place in Buda City Park. All public park- ing is available at a Park & Ride location on Cabela's Drive for $5 per car with free round-trip bus rides to the park. Entry fee to the park is $3 for ages 12 and older. Races start at 10 a.m. both days and run throughout the two-day event. There are lots of fun activities in the park along with food and drink booths. tion starts on Monday, April 29th and continues through Monday, May 6th with Elec- tion Day on Saturday, May 11. Coming up next week is "First Thursday" for down- town Buda. Stroll around town on the second day of May and visit the shops and restaurants in our historical district. Buda's spring clean-up is Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m. until noon. City of Buda resi- dents can drop off trash at the clean-up site located off Garison Road behind Buda City Park. Please no tires, batteries, oil, paint, toxins or Freon appliances. Also Buda city utility bill and/or Texas driver's license must be shown. Birthday wishes go out to Shirley Schwartz and Charl Watson on April 28; Sylves- ter Diaz on April 29;Joyce Smithey on April 30 and lanice Bigham on May 1. Remember early voting in the Hays CISD Trustee elec- DISTRIBUTED MAY 29 1N TH E HAYS FREE PRESS FOR lACK C. HAYS, LEHMAN & LIVE OAK ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOl Deadline May 10 Call the at 512-268-7862 for pricing information i Please include m I Purchaser s Name: Address: graduate 51 ii iill phone: ] E-Mail: [ Graduate's Name: I I I Congratulatory Messag,, (or sel,ara." r,i, c:t' t,r pap ,r : I I I I Size ofad: 1 !!iili [ Payment form: (circle one) Check Ench:,sed OR C'redit Cart] l Circle Card'Dpe,, MC VISA [)iscover cc : _ __ o ___ Exp. Date: __ _/ _ 3-Digit Code:_ ] Signature: __ [ :l RO. Box ,_ ~ 30, Kyle, tcxa.s 78640 or c.mad to pal) I For more infhrmation~ call 512 268-7862 i I I Lehman High School Graduation: June 5, 8 p.m. at Shelton Stadium I Jack C. Hays High School Graduation: June 6, 8 p.m. at Shehon Stadium [ l.ive Oak Academy Graduation: June 6, :3 p.m. at the Flays l'erlorming Arts Center I I