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How to Request a Travis County Master Gardener Plant Clinic at Your Community Garden

Travis County Master Gardeners are volunteers with the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office who have a wealth of knowledge about gardening in Central Texas. Their purpose is to help spread that knowledge to Central Texans.

Would you like a pair of Master Gardeners to visit your community garden event to answer gardening questions? Request a Master Gardener Plant Clinic! Here’s how:

  • Contact travismgplantclinics AT gmail.com to request a Plant Clinic. Master Gardener Sue King will assist you.
  • The requirements are:
    1. A date and times for an event where there will be a number of gardeners at a spot
    2. A phone number for someone who will be there on the event date–just in case a volunteer gets lost or has a question
    3. A table and 4 chairs is preferred, but not required

Have fun!

 

Austin Water Policy on Alternative Compliance for Vegetable Gardening

This is very exciting news! As you all know, we are in a serious drought here in central Texas, and currently under Stage 2 water use restrictions (and possibly moving into Stage 3 restrictions). Many of you have raised the concern that there should be water use exemptions for those growing food… and the City of Austin has responded to your concerns! Read more below about the new policy created for food gardening:

To support City sustainability initiatives and community-wide efforts to increase local food production, Austin Water has developed alternative restrictions for individuals using water to support food-producing plants in outdoor gardens. To receive a permit for alternative compliance, a water account holder must return the following form and adhere to the restrictions outlined (the form can be found here).

Approved alternative compliance permits will allow the account holder to water areas of food production at any day or time with drip systems or soaker hoses, Tuesday through Sunday in the morning and/or evening with a hose-end sprinkler, or twice per week in the morning and/or evening with an in-ground spray system. In all cases, alternative compliance permits require that water usage be reduced by 20% from a comparable month. This reduction meets the intent of Stage 2 or 3 water use restrictions, while allowing gardeners more flexibility to meet the needs of their plants by spreading out water application over multiple days.

Alternative compliance permits are intended for gardens producing food for retail sale, those used by many people as part of a community garden, and for individual gardens that provide a reasonable portion of household food consumption when in season. They are not intended for herb gardens, for solitary vegetable plants within a landscape garden, or fruit trees other than those that are part of urban farms and intended for retail production.

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