Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Trumpet Vine Dropping Buds
July 25, 2013 - My trumpet vine is dropping its buds before flowering. This happened last year as well. Do you know what is causing this and what I can do to prevent it?
view the full question and answer

Cedar trees dying in CO
July 18, 2011 - We have mature cedar trees at the home we bought in SW Colorado. The large ones have begun to die. Can too much water kill a cedar tree and is there anything I can do to keep them alive?
view the full question and answer

Non-native lambs ears wilting in heat from Fredericksburg TX
October 19, 2011 - 3 days ago I had professional landscaping done in an area with plants that tolerate heat & sun well. We planted 7 healthy, large lambs ear & mulched. Everything planted is doing well except the lambs ...
view the full question and answer

Root rot and transplant shock in Texas betony
July 13, 2006 - Texas betony is supposed to be drought resistant but also likes to be kept moist, but I have had trouble getting it established. These seem to be undemanding plants I have had entire stems dry up and...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of hydrophobic soil in Austin, TX.
July 13, 2011 - I believe I have an area in my garden with “hydrophobic soil”: no matter how much or how slowly I water, it just beads up and rolls off and the soil beneath remains cement dry and powdery. In my readi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.