En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Thursday - February 14, 2013

From: San Marcos , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering
Title: Removing water from local rivers to water garden from San Marcos TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in San Marcos Central Texas and my household experiments with a lot of organic gardening in our back yard, and I was wondering how using the surrounding rivers such as the Blanco or San Marcos river to help water my plants? I tested the pH and it came out around 7-8 alkaline. Would there be anything in the water to possible promote or affect plant growth?

ANSWER:

In terms of the quality of the water itself, those rivers are already watering surrounding vegetation and apparently is not polluted in any major way. I guess the biggest question we need to ask you is how did you intend to transfer the water from either river to your home in Hays County? One bucket at a time? I doubt anyone would object to that, but it would take a lot of buckets and a lot of car trips (with the accompanying air pollution) to get much to your garden. Were you planning to take a water tanker truck and load it up? I think the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority might have a reason to object to that. The San Marcos River originates in the San Marcos Springs, which is fed by the Edwards Aquifer. You probably don't have a long enough hose to hook a pump up to either river and deliver the water to your garden, and I feel sure there would be objections to that.

The simple fact is that either your city water supply or perhaps a well on your property are delivering the same water, from the Edwards Aquifer to your garden faucet now. We know of no effects, good or bad, of using that water. It is alkaline because the surrounding soil is alkaline, and we can think of no reason to go to that much trouble, unless you just want to save on your water bill, but we have already pointed out that your local water district might have something to say on that subject. The best we can find out, the San Marcos water district is the Bexar Met Water District.



 

 

More Watering Questions

Texas Pistachio trees dropping leaves in Austin
June 09, 2010 - I have several Texas Pistachio that are about 13 years old. Despite good rainfall in Travis county this year, they seem to be losing most of their new leaf growth now in early June. Leaves are simpl...
view the full question and answer

Relocating native oak trees in compacted soil
September 14, 2008 - Can you replant and relocate small oak trees in compacted soil and will they grow or go into shock?
view the full question and answer

Possible freeze damage in Wax Myrtle from last winter in Bastrop, TX
July 25, 2011 - Our Wax Myrtle is about 7 yrs old and in good shape until this past winter when we had several very hard freezes. Now several of the large branches are dead and more are dying each month. We have not ...
view the full question and answer

Mulching tree root in San Angelo, TX
April 02, 2014 - San Angelo, Texas is in a drought stage. Will it help our trees to mulch the base of them?
view the full question and answer

Effect of epsom salts and gray water on plants
December 04, 2007 - We live in Phoenix where water is a precious commodity. We have decided to use as much of the gray water as we can for watering our garden, shrubs and trees. One of the suggestions we heard about w...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center