Eco-friendly Design Tips For Your Texas Home


While a nicely manicured lawn is the centerpiece of a home’s landscaping, don’t let it crowd out other elements which could save you time, money, and water. With some eco-friendly design tips, you can spend more time enjoying your Texas home and less time working on it.

Finding the Right Grass

Not all grass should be grown in every climate. If your lawn is struggling or seems to require a lot of water, it could simply be the wrong grass type for the Texas climate. The AgriLife Extension recommends warm-season grasses such as Bermudagrass, St. Augustine, Kentucky bluegrass, or Zoysia for yards here.  Bermudagrass is the most popular since it’s drought-tolerant and stands up well to the heat and heavy foot traffic.

How Much to Water

One of the best ways to conserve water is to determine how much your grass and plants need. You want to water two to three times a week with a good soaking. Overwatering can be just as damaging as underwatering.

The time of day you water is also crucial. Watering before 10 AM gives the ground a chance to absorb the moisture instead of letting it evaporate in the midday sun. Watering too late in the evening can encourage pests and lawn diseases.


Being eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your lawn – you just need to have less of it to water and mow. Trim the edges of your lawn with gravel pathways and hardscaping. You should see a major reduction in your water bill. Adding Xeriscaping not only conserves water but will make your yard feel like it belongs deep in the heart of Texas.

Other Native Plants

Grass is typically the biggest consumer of water in your yard, so instead of filling every available square foot with grass, consider Texas native plants to add color, height, and variety to your landscaping. We’re not just talking about cactus plants (although succulents grow nicely here). Indian paintbrush, prairie verbena, and bluebonnets thrive in the Texas climate and save water. Natives practically grow themselves, so you won’t waste any time fertilizing. Add a nice layer of mulch around your flowerbed to keep the weeds out, and you’ll save even more time.

Your native garden will also encourage pollinators like birds and bees. You can keep them visiting by avoiding pesticides.

Plant Shade Trees and Shrubs

A live oak, cedar elm, or pecan tree does more than beautify the yard. Tall shade trees are the best way to protect your home from the hot sun, and from those cold winds in winter. Evergreen trees will protect your home all year long. Deciduous trees such as the crepe myrtle will allow the sun to reach your windows in the winter.

Taller shrubs will cut down on the amount of mowable grass and provide you with a windbreak. It’s best to plant these on the north side of your home. Consider planting taller trees toward the back of your yard and flowering shrubs in front. You’ll still get the cool breezes in the fall, just not those cold winter winds.

Cutting back on the amount of grass in your lawn will also help you cut back on the amount of gas needed to mow it and the fertilizer it takes to keep it green. But we don’t suggest getting rid of the entire lawn. Unlike concrete and gravel, The grass absorbs sunlight, which can make it cooler indoors. Keep in mind: Grass is also a plant, so it absorbs carbon dioxide and emits oxygen, so it’s benefiting you and the wildlife visiting your yard.

You can still be green with a green lawn, but by incorporating other plants and hardscape features, you and your yard will be on a need-to-mow basis.


Vivi Wong inherited her father’s landscaping company at 28, but she’s been taking care of her own gardens for as long as she can remember. She especially loves native flowers and peonies are the fastest way to her heart.


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