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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

 Weekly Express-News Article
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD,
SAWS Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist
Saturday, August 5, 2006
“Options with Your Lawn”  

            Growing a lawn in San Antonio is not easy in the best of times; during drought restrictions it is even more difficult.  Lawn grasses do best in conditions where there are relatively deep soils, mild temperatures and regular rainfall.  Our favorite grass, St. Augustine, evolved in a region with acid soils and 50 – 60 inches of rain.  It is no wonder that some of us are wondering what the options are with our lawns in the midst of droughty weather. 


·      Option #1 is to maintain a green lawn.  Even with drought restrictions this is possible in San Antonio.  Under Stage 1 of the restrictions, area businesses and residences can water the lawn once per week based on the last number of the address.  Addresses ending in 0 or 1 water on Monday, 2 and 3 on Tuesday and so on, through the end of the week.  All watering must be completed between midnight and 10:00 a.m., or 8:00 p.m., and midnight on your designated day.  There is no watering on the weekends. 


·      Option #2 is to let your lawn go dormant for the duration of the drought.  This is an especially desirable option for individuals with zoysia, Bermuda, and buffalo grass lawns.  Those species of grasses are capable of shutting down like a bear in hibernation during a drought.  When rains resume, they green up quickly with no negative consequences.  The advantages of this option are obvious – you do not need to worry about watering days and your water bill is very low. 


For St. Augustine lawns, the dormancy option is not as simple.  St. Augustine evolved in a climate where it rained all year and temperatures were always mild; there was no survival advantage to going dormant.  The closest you come to dormancy with St. Augustine is to water every two weeks – the lawn will brown, but roots will stay alive.


·      Option #3 – This alternative is built on Option #1.  It maintains a green lawn, but minimizes the amount of water used.  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 one 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 #3 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.