About Class Descriptions

Water University offers over 20 classes for the general public as well as numerous professional courses related to water conservation and water use efficiency.  A listing of classes being offered for 2018 is listed below.  If you would like to schedule one of the classes in your area please contact us at urbanwater@tamu.edu.

Top 100 Plants for North Texas

Are you a "Native Texan" or a transplant? Plants can be native or transplants too! Create a lush and vibrant landscape with our favorite "Top 100" native and adapted plants, ideal for your North Texas landscape. You'll also learn proper soil preparation, proper planting, how to choose the right plant for the right place as well as tips to keep your plants beautiful and healthy year-round.
(1.5 - 2 hour class)

Horti-Couture: What's HOT for 2018

Learn about the newest and hottest design trends from AgriLife experts as we dig into the best NEW plant varieties on the market in North Texas. Whether you're just getting into gardening or already have a green thumb, this class is sure to get to the root of all you plant questions! Come check out the many cool new trees, shrubs and flowers to pick from and the best ways to keep them thriving!
(1 hour class)

Texas Trees

Trees are without a doubt, our most valuable landscape investment! Whether you're interested in their ornamental value for your property, their construction to energy and water savings at your home or business, or the many other ecosystem services they provide, this program covers it. Branch out and join us to learn tips on tree selection and proper planting practices, as well as proper watering, pruning, common insect issues and diseases.
(1.5 - 2 hour class)

Made for the Shade: Shade Gardening 

Are your trees throwing shade? Does your landscape have problem areas where nothing seems to grow? Do you have mature trees and areas where your turf is receding? Don't accept being shaded out! Learn about the many native and adapted plants that not only survive, but thrive in shadier spots along with tips and tricks to create beautiful shade gardens that beat the Texas heat. We'll also cover gardening under mature trees as well as turf alternatives and hardscape options for low light areas.
(1.5 - 2 hour class)

Texan Plants

There's a growing trend to incorporate native plants in landscapes not only for their ability to save water, but also for the incredible beauty and the countless ecosystem services they provide! Learn how to grow your favorite native wildflowers, trees, shrubs as well as perinnials with lush vibrant colors and textures to make your garden the envy of the neighborhood. We'll also talk proper soil preparation, proper installation, and provide tips for long term maintenance to keep your native landscape looking best. You'll be provided a plant list as big as the Lone Star State!
(1 hour class)

Selecting the Perfect Turf

One of the most important factors in achieving a lush green and healthy lawn is picking the right turfgrass for your home. This class will walk you through the best turf options for North Texas, addressing shade tolerance, maintenance requirements, disease susceptibility and their ability to handle foot traffic. Come learn how to take bake YOUR turf by selecting the grass that's right for you!
(1 hour class)

Put the Care into Lawn Care

Did you fight the lawn and the lawn won? Don't let it! This course will teach you proper maintenance techniques, efficient water methods, at the same time simplifying fertilizer and pesticide application to reduce weed and disease issues. We'll help you create a lush and healthy lawn that will make your neighbors green with envy!
(1.5 - 2 hour class)

On the Wild Side: Gardening for Wildlife

Native and Adapted plants are not only beautiful, water-efficient additions to your landscape, but hey can be useful tools to attract beneficial wildlife as well! Learn ways to attract and provide habitat for butterflies, song birds, hummingbirds, bees and other animals that bring your landscape to life with activity! If you'd like to keep your landscape well-manicured, or if you take a more naturalistic approach, we have tips to meet your needs, suit your taste and capture your imagination!
(1.5 - 2 hour class) 

"Saving FROM a Rainy Day": DIY Rain Barrel Class

This class is a barrel of fun! Rainwater is the best water for your lawn, landscape or vegetable garden; Divert it, Save it, Use it! Come learn the basics and benefits of rainwater harvesting and reduce the effect your stormwater has on the environment. Participants will learn how to collect and utilize rainwater at home. This class is hands on "DIY" where each participant will build and take home a 55-gallon rain barrel at $50 each. Rain barrels are recycled food-grade containers and are roughly 24" wide by 36" tall.
(2 hour class)

Rainwater Harvesting

Think big for your home and save big on your water bill! This program covers design, construction, maintenance and benefits of a large rainwater collection system. Participants will learn how to calculate rainwater capture and detailed design of an above ground collection system for your home, ranch or business's outdoor water needs. This class can be modified to be a hands on "DIY" installation. Class fee + cost of materials for tank install.
(1.5 - 2 hour class, or longer due to installation)

Drip Irrigation DIY

Make every drip count! Whether you have an existing sprinkler system or just an outdoor faucet, learn how to install, convert and maintain a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation is the most efficient irrigation method for landscape beds, potted plants, vegetable gardens or home foundations. The flow of information from our experts will make "do it yourself" drip irrigation seem easy! 
HANDS ON Option: Class fee is $200, which includes materials and is limited to 30 attendees.
(1.5 - 2 hour class)

Water U Doing?: Water Efficient Sprinklers

What are you doing for your landscape? Save water, money and time by giving your sprinkler system a "Spruce Up". Come learn how minor do it yourself repairs and simple irrigation tips can make a MAJOR impact on your water waste and your water bill. If you're got questions about your controller or how much your lawn and landscape really needs, we've got a stream of info to get your plants looking their best!
(1.5 - 2 hour class)

ULandscapeIT: Water Efficient Landscape Design

Do you want to have the yard people envy on your street? Come and learn basic design principles, plant placement, and all about the newest hardscape trends so you can "do it yourself" and save big! Learn tips on how to use the ULandscapeIT tool on our website (wateruniversity.tamu.edu) to become your own landscape designer!
(1.5 - 2 hour class) 

Weed'em and Reap: Weeds and Watering

This class makes sense of two of the most challenging issues many homeowners face. If you're having trouble controlling unwated plants in your lawn and landscape or if you're confused about when to water and when to wait, we're here to help. Learn the best approach to managing weeds effectively without the over use of chemicals and your time so you can reap the rewards of a green environment. Thistle be a great class for sure! 
(1 hour class) 

Pots in Small Spots: Container Gardening

Gardening in containers is a great way to grow your horticulture skills! If you have a small yard or patio that needs a pop of ornamental color, are frustrated with the poor soils on your property, or just simply don't have the space to grow your fruits and veggies, then give container gardening a try. This course is such a fun way to put the Spiller, Filler, and Thriler back in your life and your landscape. You won't be able to contain yourself!
(1 hour class)

Grow Your Own Vegetables

"Lettuce" talk about vegetables! Whether you're trying to eat healthier, want to know where your food comes from, or just love the idea of growing delicious vine-ripened vegetables at home, this class is for you. Lean proper soil preparation, garden design and layouts, disease and insect identification, as well as the proper planting times for getting the most production out of your favorite vegetables in the challenging climate of North Texas.
(1.5 - 2 hour class)

FoodScaping

Edible landscapes are one of the hottest trends in garden design! Utilizing areas in your landscape to grown edibles is a great way to add food to your table and reduce your grocery bill. This program teaches you how to incorporate edible plants into your home garden and landscape by taking advantage of their ornamental value. You will learn how herbs, fruits and vegetables can add to the colors and textures of your permanent landscape combining both aesthetics and functionality. (1.5 - 2 hour class) 

Composting

Compost is absolutely one of the best soil amendments money can buy, but you don't have to! Learn how to make high quality compost at home using materials most folks throw away. This class gives you the dirt on the most effective composting methods with a focus on practical techniques and "piles" of problem solving tips to get your compost system back to its peak.
(1.5 - 2 hour class)

The Urban Orchard: Fruits, Nuts and Berries

Whether you're trying to grow (or planning to grow) fruits, nuts and/or berries at home for their superior flavor, to save money or just want to know where your food comes from, this class is for you! This program teaches you how to become more water efficient in your "urban orchard", what plants and varieties work best in our area, the basics of pest control, proper pruning methods and other practical ways to increase production. Branch out and join us for a fruitful program!
(1.5 - 2 hour class) 

The Urban Harvest: Foraging in the City 

You can eat that? The city is full of food ripe for the picking. Learn how to identify more traditional foods like edible fruits, nuts and naturalized vegetables, as well as wild edibles, edible flowers and even edible weeds that are well adapted to our extreme climate and commonly found in North Texas neighborhoods. Get back to nature as we look at the many uses of plants you walk by every day. Come prepared: bring a hat, bug spray, a camera, and wear your hiking shoes! A guided urban nature walk is included. (1.5 - 2 hour class)

Let's Ketchup on Tomatoes

Have you always wanted to grow this delicious fruit?! The most sought-after garden treasure can be challenging to grow in the extreme climate and soils of North Texas. We'll go into depth, providing tips on how to get the most production out of your tomato plants covering everything from variety selection, proper planting, best irrigation practices to pest and disease control. No matter your gardening skills, this class will be sweet!
(1 hour class)

Herb Your Enthusiasm: Herb Gardening

Get the most out of your landscape or kitchen garden by choosing from the assortment of tasty and beautiful herbs adapted to Texas. We'll talk about everything from design and plant selection, proper soil prep and planting techniques, to the many uses of our favorite herbs inside and outside the home. This class is sure to be a great thyme!
(1 hour class)

Butterfly Gardening

Butterflies are welcomed visitors that bring the landscape alive with activity and help to pollinate our favorite plants. Learn tips to create butterfly habitat in your landscape by introducing a water source and feeders, as well as how to select the right plants as host species for caterpillars. We'll also talk about our favorite native and adapted flowers that provide long lasting blooms as nectar sources to help your garden take flight! 
(1 hour class)

Professional Classes

Water Efficient Landscape Identification for Code Enforcement Officers

What’s a weed and what’s a native plant? What is the most current Irrigation Technologies?

This program will help aid the Code Enforcement Officer in identifying the difference in weeds and plants that are commonly mistaken for weeds, but are in fact water efficient native and adaptive plants. The program also covers efficient irrigation like drip Irrigation, Rainwater Harvesting, Lawn Care during drought and/or water restrictions, Foundation Watering, Tree Watering, and Irrigation Scheduling. These best management practices help code enforcement identify the abuse of landscape irrigation.

Understanding Plant Water Needs for an Efficient Irrigation System

Have you thought of the water demand for the plants being installed? Based on the Irrigation Association BMP’s, this program will help aid the Landscape Irrigation Professional in reaching the next level of water efficiency when planning an irrigation system.

Rainwater Harvesting, Getting off the Grid, an Alternate Water Source for your Customers Landscape Needs

Are water restrictions and water prices for your customers becoming a concern? Are the plants not performing as well as expected? This program will give you an understanding of rainwater harvesting for Landscape Water Efficiency and its benefits. It will also teach you the basic principles for Rainwater Harvesting in the landscape.

Keeping it Safe in Park and Rec, Water Efficient Turf Management

Do you have high traffic playing fields? Is your irrigation system out of date, broken or in need of a check-up? This program will show you and your staff efficient methods to keep your field’s safe and looking good.

Water Efficient Property Management

This program will give property managers techniques on implementing Indoor and Outdoor Water Conservation, Drip Irrigation, New Water Conserving Technologies, Cycle and Soak, Lawn Care during drought or water restrictions, Proper Plant Selection, Foundation Watering, Tree Watering, and Irrigation Scheduling are subjects to be discussed.

Smart Watering During Restrictions

Watering restrictions burning you up? Get smarter with your watering habits. This program will give a general overview on Drip Irrigation, New Water Conserving Technologies, Cycle and Soak, Lawn Care during drought, Foundation Watering, Tree Watering, Irrigation Scheduling, and Rainwater Harvesting.

Planning for Your Water Future, A Guide for Water Efficient Landscape and Irrigation Methods in Your Ordinances

Does your Landscape & Irrigation Ordinance need any overhaul? Look at changing the plant pallet in your community to a more Water Efficient one for the future. Update your Irrigation and Landscape Ordinance to be more efficient. This program will provide you and your staff with an understanding of Native & Adaptive Plants and their benefits along with efficient Irrigation Strategies to meet the ever-growing water demands for our area. Plant list provided.

“Get in the Know” - New Landscape Rules & Regs for HOAs

Are the new rules and regs stumping you? Need assistance with a new plant list and or a sample covenant to comply? Get in the know at this class on understanding the new legislation and what that means for your HOA.

Rain Water Harvesting-Large System

Think “Big Tank” and help save on your customer’s water bill!!! This program covers design, construction, maintenance and benefits of a large rainwater collection system. Participants will learn how to calculate rainwater capture, design an above or below ground collection system and utilize rainwater using large tank systems for home or business applications. This program will also cover installing drip irrigation. (3 hr. class)

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