Locals polish green thumbs at Azalea Symposium - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Symposium teaches gardeners about cost efficient watering systems

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

May the drips be with you, was the theme of the Azalea symposium Saturday morning. A fitting title for the gardeners eager to learn about state-of-the-art low-cost efficient watering systems.

"They will both get to know the Ruby M. Mize Azalea garden and the SFA gardens. They will also begin to think more about water conservation," said Barbara Stump, Research Associate, SFA gardens.

Reducing water usage has become mandatory in many cities across East Texas. Options such as micro sprinklers and drip irrigation systems make maintaining a beautiful garden is possible.

"Simple things they can do a home for household use and also how they might be able to deal with water and their landscape," said Stump.

 Symposium presenter Bryan Davis offered a glimpse into the past, sharing stories about growing azaleas in 1950's without major irrigation.

"When I was a little boy nobody had sprinkler systems and the only way to mow your yard was with a push mower," said Davis.

 Davis says growing dependency on technology has made dealing with drought more difficult.

"We turn it over to a machine and expect the machine to do everything for us, but there is nothing like the personal touch," said Davis.

 Despite dry conditions, Azaleas are surprisingly tolerant to the heat.

 "They can survive with less water than you think," said Davis.

The majority of plants need intelligent watering to survive the warmer seasons.

"We also have lots and lots of other plants and trees that are going to need the same kind of treatment," said Stump.

Gardeners are encouraged to be proactive in their plant management. Because the demand for water is bound to increase.

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