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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 August 7, 2006 
“Minimizing your Water Bill and Still Having a Green Lawn”  

It is not easy to maintain a green lawn in San Antonio in a normal summer.  It is even harder in a droughty summer when we have drought restrictions.  Green is nice, but do not overlook the dormancy option.  If you have zoysia, buffalo, or Bermuda grass they can be allowed to dry out.  The grasses turn golden or yellow until the rains begin again.  There is no permanent damage to the lawn and you save on your water bill.

            If you would prefer to have a green lawn even if it requires more management and expense here are some options to consider.


·      Option #1 is to maintain a green lawn by applying .75 (3/4) inch of water every week on your designated watering day.  If your address ends with 0 or 1 water on Monday; 2 or 3, water on Tuesday; 4 and 5 water on Wednesday; 6, 7 water on Thursday; and if your address ends with 8 or 9, irrigate on Friday.  There is no irrigating on the weekend with sprinklers.  Water between midnight and 10:00 a.m., or 8:00 p.m., and midnight on your designated day.


·      Option #2 is a more sophisticated version of Option #1.  It requires more management of your water resources, but produces the same green lawn with less water use.  Water on your designated day, but only add the amount of water recommended by SIP.  SIP stands for Seasonal Irrigation Program.  It calculates the amount of water your lawn needs based on the grass type, the amount of sun and the weather conditions in the last week.  Under Option #1, everyone might apply .75 inch of water every week, while under this option, a buffalo grass lawn might not require any irrigation, and a St. Augustine lawn in the shade might only require .5 inches of water.  Option #2 requires more management of your irrigation application, but it does save 20% of water use on average and your water bills are less.  SAWS makes SIP easier to follow by sending you a SIP kit with the directions and tools you need to determine how much water is being applied by your sprinkler system.  Sign up for the kit and a weekly SIP recommendation by visiting the SAWS website at  Your personalized recommendation will be provided by e-mail or phone message on the day you designate.  SIP was developed in San Antonio over four years of tests and six more years of use.  It is the way to keep your lawn green without using any unnecessary water. 


            Whichever option you select to keep your lawn green, consider ways to supplement the basic sprinkler application.  If you have some areas of the lawn that require more water than the main lawn, green them up with a soaker hose or hand-watering.  These techniques save water over sprinkler irrigation because they put the water right on the dry spot. 


Stretch out a soaker hose if the dry area is linear along the sidewalk or driveway.  I like the black soaker hoses made of recycled rubber.  Turn the hose spigot one-quarter turn and they sweat out the water. They can be used for two or more hours on a dry spot without using much water.  The use of soaker hoses are not regulated in Stage 1 of Water Restrictions because they are so efficient. 


            If your dry spot is a small round area where the soil is compacted or shallow, hand-water to green it up.  A supplemental watering every two or three days will do the job.  Hand-watering is also not limited in Stage 1 of the Water Restrictions.