October 15, 2012

Chasing Monarchs on the Llano River with Dr. Chip Taylor, Champion of Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Watch founder Dr. Chip Taylor visits ranch along the Llano River in the Texas Hill Country. His prescription: cultivate seeds, plugs and plants of more native milkweed species through a Texas version of Bring Back the Monarchs, an innovative prairie restoration program that NPSOT is importing from Kansas. Why the Texas focus? ”It’s the most important state. Spring conditions in Texas determine Monarchs numbers,” he told the NPSOT audience.Learn More

August 27, 2012

Revised Landscape Rebate

If you’re tired of watering and mowing your lawn, it may be time to consider a landscape makeover. Austin Water has revamped its popular WaterWise Landscape rebate which offers cash back to customers who replace thirsty grass with native plants. The rebate also covers installing permeable hardscape.Read more from Austin Water.

July 19, 2012

The New Lawn: Shaggy, Chic and Easy on the Mower

Pushing back against perfect lawns, some homeowners are adopting a shaggy-chic look for their properties, planting a long-haired meadow in the backyard, and even in front. Meadows are naturally pretty and abuzz with blooms and butterflies, but their real appeal is this: Once the meadow is established, mowing is recommended just once a year. Read more from The Wall Street Journal.

June 25, 2012

Going Native

“The drought continuing from last year has many residential estate owners looking for new sustainable landscaping solutions and ranchers and landowners looking for anything that can survive the climate and hungry livestock.” The Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Program is featured in this article from the Westlake Picayune.

May 24, 2012

Going ‘Native’ in Texas With Less Water

Consider the findings of one Texas survey: about 2/3 of residents’ water use in the summer goes to watering their yards. Is the desire to have a nice yard in opposition to conserving our volatile water sources? For co-owner of Fertile Ground, Alexa Villalobos, achieving the two is not only possible; it’s ideal.Read more from NPR.

April 16, 2012

Hill Country wildflowers threatened by invasive mustard plant

Can you imagine the Hill Country, or Texas, without wildflowers? Unless we act fast to eradicate a very invasive alien mustard, that dire situation will become reality in less than ten years. In parts of Texas this yellow-flowered mustard is taking control of the highway right-of-ways and moving onto farms and ranches. Read More

April 13, 2012

The Top Ten Invasive Species in Texas

Combined, invasive species have caused an immense amount of agricultural, ecological, and economic damage. Local scientists are worried that they’ll continue to wreak havoc unless state regulators and citizens alike start implementing stronger measures to stop them from spreading. This article from NPR shows the top ten invasive species in Texas, along with brief summaries of the damage they’re causing to the state.

April 4, 2012

Invasive plant threatens bluebonnets

A quarter of a mile west of the gate of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in South Austin, invasive plant expert Damon Waitt steps on a small shovel. “…in the fall when these plants germinate, they form a rosette close to the ground, and that rosette actually takes up space and blocks out the bluebonnets that should be coming up in that area.” Read more from KXAN. Some could deepen their bastard cabbage research just a little, read a little deeper. Some insight from Bill Neiman.