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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Click here

 Primetime Newspapers
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD, SAWS Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist
Week of June 12, 2006
 “Maybe No Drought Restrictions?  

            The prediction earlier this year was that the San Antonio area would reach drought restrictions Mid-May.  Because of a series of limited, but well-timed rains we have escaped that dire circumstance.  According to at least one planner at the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) there is a chance we may make it through the summer.  He is betting on normal rainfall in June and July, and reasonable water use by area businesses and homeowners on their landscapes.  We can keep our lawns green and our flowers blooming, but we cannot afford to waste any water.

            The best way to achieve the magic combination of enough water to keep your lawn green without overdoing it is to subscribe to the Seasonal Irrigation Program (SIP) recommendation.  It was developed over four years of research and tested by four more years of experience here in San Antonio.  Sign up for a SIP kit and your own personalized weekly e-mail or phone message watering recommendation by visiting the SAWS website at, clicking to Conservation and then to Seasonal Irrigation Program.

            Individuals with zoysia, buffalo or Bermuda grass have advantages over those of us with St. Augustine lawns.  Those species of grasses can go dormant in drought and then green up again when rains resume.  The dormancy experience does not hurt the lawn a bit.  St. Augustine grass has some drought capability, in tests it survives hot dry weather with only ½ inch water every two weeks, but must have that water to prevent grass death.  Select your strategy to do your part to help avoid drought restrictions – dormancy or SIP.

            One of the best ways to address the challenge of drought restrictions or our normal summer heat is to make use of leaky hoses.  During drought restrictions, leaky hoses qualify as drip irrigation which means their use is unrestricted during “Stages One and Two.”  Leaky hoses are inexpensive and versatile, string them out where you need them, and then move them to another site if the need is greater.  Leaky hoses are very efficient.  Just like drip irrigation, they put the water where it is needed without much evaporation and no wind interference.

            I have heard one of my horticultural colleagues say that leaky hoses clog up quickly.  I have not had the same experience.  My hoses after five years of use are more likely to be ruined by careless lawn mower driving then by clogging.  At less than $10 a purchase, even three-four years of use is a good investment. 

Use your leaky hose to water newly planted trees and shrubs.  Run the hose along the rows of flowers and vegetables for an efficient irrigation system.  Leaky hoses are especially effective to use to provide supplemental water for hot spots in the lawn.  It is not unusual for lawns to have a strip along the driveway or curb where it never seems to receive enough water.  Rather than apply excess water to the whole lawn, give the hot spots a weekly supplemental dose of leaky hose irrigation.  Stretch it out, run the water for an hour or more, and it will green up the trouble spot.

Running the soaker use for an hour or more may sound like it would use lots of water, but it is not so.  If the faucet is turned ¼ to ½ turn it “sweats” the water out at the right rate without danger of runoff.

            I like the recycled leaky hoses, but the same water efficiencies can be achieved by using a green soaker hose turned over so the water is applied directly to the ground.