North Central Texas Smartscape

Texas SmartScape™ utilizes xeriscape principles, but goes beyond the basics by providing design, care, and plant search tools that are "Smart" for North Central Texas. Learn more...

This Program Will Show You How To

Conserve water and save $Money$ on your water bills; beautify your home and local environment; attract native butterflies, hummingbirds and other wildlife; and prevent / help reduce storm water pollution!


Water Deeply and Infrequently


This summer we may have received a little relief from the heat with a few good rains, but drought in North Texas is still here. Many cities in North Texas are still under “Severe” or “Extreme” drought conditions (U.S. Drought Monitor) and therefore have implemented twice a week watering restrictions. With more and more people moving to the region every year, it is increasingly important to conserve the water we have.

While twice a week is the restriction limit, if you water correctly, you may not even need to water that much.  By only watering when your lawn needs it, and watering deeply when you do, you will help build strong, deep roots that are able to support the plant even in drought conditions. Check out our watering section for more information about proper watering technique.  Also, browse our plant database to find plants, shrubs, and trees that once established will require little to no supplemental watering at all.

Here are a few additional resources:
Dallas Water Reservoir levels:
U.S. Drought Monitor:  and provide information about saving water around your home. is a great resource to help remind you when to water based on local rainfall and temperatures.

Know Your Soil and Help Plants Thrive In It

Soil and Mulch

There are many different soil types in the North Texas region. Clay, sand, or loam soil mixtures are scattered throughout the North Texas area, with clay being the most common.  It is important for you to know your predominant soil type since it will determine which plants to select, watering techniques to use, and to what extent compost should be used to ammend your soil. If you are unsure about what type of soil you have in your yard, check out our soil section to learn about a simple test you can do.  If you feel like your soil is not very good for growing anything, fear not because compost and mulch can help!

Mulch is typically shedded organic matter or tree bark. It reduces water loss from the soil, reduces weeds in flower beds, moderates soil temperatures and prevents soil erosion. Compost is the result of decayed organic matter and provides nutrients, adds beneficial microbes, attracts worms, and helps retain moisture in the soil. While mulch and Compost serve similar functions, the true magic happens when they are combined. Laying down a layer of compost or mixing it into the soil before adding layer of mulch in your flower beds will make your soil like a nutrient rich sponge. The beneficial microbes in compost will also help break down the mulch over time into plant-available nutrients, providing a constant food source for your thriving plants and eliminating the need for commercial fertilizer which reduces the risk of water pollution.

There are several ways to make your own compost from yard waste and kitchen scraps: the hot method, the cold method, the bokashi method, and vermicomposting (worms). Also, many times cities offer free mulch to residents, check with your local municipality to find out. Our Events section is a great place to start if you are interested in learning more about composting.

Texas SmartScape Digital Magazine

Texas SmartScape Digital Magazine

Texas SmartScape Lineup, your 2014 showcase selection for DFW

Staff and SmartScape participant communities have been hard at work creating Texas SmartScape’s first digital magazine. This 33 page magazine highlights a few of our favorite plants in a fun and interesting way. This isn’t your usual, boring, botanical name and basic information. This magazine is packed full of beautiful images, and each plant tells its own story - and it is our hope that you are inspired to tell your own story with native Texas plants in your garden at home.

Please feel free to download, link to, share, post, read out loud to anyone passing by! We just want to get the word out about the water conservation and stormwater quality benefits of using native plants that require less water and maintenance while still providing a beautiful landscape.

Check it out!

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