Sparkman's Nursery says new compound can cut water bills in half - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Sparkman's Nursery says new compound can cut water bills in half

First day with Hydretain First day with Hydretain
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Cindy Sparkman Cindy Sparkman
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Once again, it seems the chance of rain for Lubbock has passed us by. This continues a prolonged period of dry conditions that have lawns turning brown, plants wilting and homeowners considering drastic water-saving measures.

However, one local company has a product they say will keep your lawn green even as things stay dry.

"Hydretain is a blend of patented products attached to a surfactant so when you put it down and water it in, it attaches to the roots of the plants and it makes itself available during drought situations for the plant to get the moisture," said Cindy Sparkman.

She and her husband own Sparkman's Nursery in southwest Lubbock.

"This was developed 20 years ago by an Australian company. It has been used to help keep dust down on roads and in golf courses it has just recently become available for home owner uses," she said. "This can cut watering bills by up to 50 percent. It's a small amount of investment to put on your yard, your trees and your shrubs to ensure that they're going to make it through the drought."

Sparkman says Hydretain lasts for 90 days.

"It's best to put this down when the weather is kind of like it is now - where we're still dry but it's still cool so you put this down and you water it in well, then there's moisture down there for the roots to hold on to," she said. "We're in a serious drought situation and we need all the help we can get. This is an effective, inexpensive way for people to help with the whole situation."

Sparkman and her employees tested the product in August 2013. Two weeks after putting it on a lawn you can see it become significantly greener - and it's not just lawns that it can help.

"It can be used on grass, you can use it on trees, you can put it in the pots when you're potting color bowls. We don't have to do without our color and our plants in West Texas, we just have to be smart about how we handle it," she said.

Another company working to help beautify Lubbock is Designscapes.

"What we did out here is design a landscape with xerophytic plants (adapted to survive with little water) and hardscape materials and what we did was take out all the turf grass," said Designscapes co-owner Tanner Bates. "By doing that we reduced the water usage from 60,000 gallons a year down to 3,000 gallons a year so what that's 95 percent savings on water."

Bates and his crew were working on the landscaping around Red Robin, one of more than 100 landscaping jobs they do each year. His company uses a drip system laid underneath the hardscape that feeds an even amount of water to the plants and doesn't waste more than is necessary.

"This is a design we came up with," he said. "They told us to come up with something that is low maintenance, that would save on water cost and so this is the design we came up with. Turf grass uses on average 60,000 gallons a year and that's based on the average square footage of being 4,000 square feet."

Hydretain is available at Sparkman's Nursery on 111th and Slide Road. A quart container will cover 3500 square feet and costs between $34 and $36. A Gallon jug is $99.

Copyright 2014 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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