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Every Drop Counts
Posted 06 - 13 - 2013

Every drop counts

it really does

By Kelly Daniel

Membership and Marketing Manager


Water is considered a uniquely valuable natural resource. So much so that Keep Texas Beautiful’s upcoming annual conference has “water conservation” flooding the mix of its sessions and workshops.


“Water, just like every other resource - money, personnel, energy - has to be managed,” said Mark Holl, chairman of the board of Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful. “Watering just to water is wasteful, and frankly, what’s good for conserving water is good for the pocketbook.”

Among the many tips for resource conservation, Holl suggests business and home owners “zone plant” in their landscaping. Grouping plants together that have similar watering, sunlight and soil composition needs should result in healthier plants and better use of resources.



“Look for ‘Earth Kind’ plants and ask your nurseryman about plants, grass and groundcover that perform better in our climate,” Holl said.


East Texas Landscaping & Garden Center owners Charles Gill and Floyd Skillern take watering seriously.


Installing and maintaining irrigation systems is one of the services their business offers. They and their staff operate with the required licenses and can handle projects from large commercial properties to home owners’ yards. All of their clients benefit from the pairs’ shared years of experience including Gill’s 20 years in the industry.


“One of the best things a residence or business owner can do for an irrigation system is to adjust the controller for proper water distribution according to the season,” Gill said. “Adding rain sensors to existing systems as well as new installations is beneficial, too. The sensors will automatically cut the system on and off, depending on the amount of moisture collected.”


Whether a system includes rain sensors or not, professional horticulturalist and landscape designer Jeff Abt suggests using a watering system “only when needed to supplement natural rainfall during dry spells.”


Skillern added that regular system maintenance which can be as simple as “keeping an eye on the system’s performance” is important for efficient water usage. Valves that get stuck or leak, broken sprinkler heads and pests such as gophers chewing on the lines can all cause problems.

“Sprinkler heads are technologically advanced compared to what they were 15 years ago,” Skillern said. Replacement sprinkler heads can now be found with built in check valves and pressure regulators. Check valves keep water flow even in the lateral lines “so the water doesn’t drain out at the lowest point in the system and make a mud hole,” he said. Pressure regulation will eliminate “fogging” problems that put moisture into the air and not the lawn.


Gill and Skillern agree that businesses and home owners can conserve water best by utilizing drip system irrigation. In fact, they use drip irrigation in their business’s garden center’s landscape and green houses. With a variety of installation choices, a drip irrigation system can be used throughout a landscape.


East Texas Landscaping & Garden Center is located on west Hwy. 21, just outside Loop 224, and the business will celebrate its fifth anniversary in July. The business plans to expand its product line this summer with a selection of hand power tools and mowing equipment.

Rainwater harvesting adds another element to water conservation and Texas Tax Code 151.355 exempts rainwater harvesting equipment from sales tax. According to Holl, a tax exemption certificate is all that is needed for purchases. To see a pilot project, visit the Nacogdoches County Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at the E. Main and N. University.


Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce members that provide landscape and irrigation services:

Dragonfly Nursery & Garden, LLC

134 N. Mound St. Nacogdoches, TX 75961

 (936) 622-3408


East Texas Landscaping & Garden Center

2887 State Hwy. 21 W. Nacogdoches, TX 75964

 (936) 715-0444,


USA Landscape Services East Texas

P.O. Box 155326 Lufkin, TX 75915

 (936) 676-0459,


For more resource management information, contact

Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful

2516 North St.
, Nacogdoches, TX 75965

(936) 560-5624,


Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Courthouse Annex

203 W. Main, Nacogdoches, TX 75961

(936) 560-7711,

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