Comment of the Day: Striking at Other Roots of Houston Flooding

COMMENT OF THE DAY: STRIKING AT OTHER ROOTS OF HOUSTON FLOODING Digging into Houston soil“St. Augustine grass has a very shallow root system that barely reaches 2 inches into the soil. Beneath that root system is our typical thick clay gumbo soil that is very slow to drain moisture and more prone to let water run off into the storm sewer system. When you plant native grasses and plants, the roots reach down much deeper in the soil and fundamentally change the [bulk] composition of the soil. Instead of the thick gray clay gumbo soil, you get a much looser brown soil that does a much better job absorbing and holding water instead of letting it run off into the storm sewer system . . . Just imagine the amount of water that could be kept out of the storm sewer system if everyone replaced the St. Augustine in their front yard with native grasses and plants.” [Old School, commenting on Houston’s Sustainability Question; Fire Destroys Cleburne Cafeteria in the Middle of the NightIllustration: Lulu

9 Comment

  • Amazingly, not all of Houston has black gumbo, green areas on this map don’t have clay, http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth130292/m1/1/

  • Native grasses = ugly letter from HOA

  • St. Augustine develops short roots when people don’t do long, deep watering of their yards. The routes only reach down to where the moisture level is sufficient for the roots to absorb moisture.
    As to the soil composition changing by planting native grasses—that’s going to take a long time, in the order of years to happen as old roots and leaves decay and amend the soil naturally. To change a clay soil to a loamy soil in your yard, you can always just amend it by working in peat moss or humus, which will also work to lower the Ph of the soil to something approaching neutral.

  • Excellent suggestion. Maybe they could make the two reservoirs into prairie during the next drought? I can’t imagine many people letting go of their heavily maintained yards in the name of tall grass.
    If only they would plant such grass along the bayou…

  • Are you nuts? Houstonians will never give up their St Augustine. You’d sooner ask for their right to bare arms. This is a completely asinine comment and the commenter knows nothing about St. Augustin nor Houstonians for that matter. Perhaps we could all just pave our yard or grow Yucca.

  • The land of Houston flooded long before there was a Houston city to flood. The area that could sustain grass was covered in a native grass called cane break.

  • I would caution those good citizens eager to exercise their ‘right to bare arms’ to invest in a reliable DEET-containing spray or lotion.

  • Many Houstonians wear long sleeves.

  • “Many Houstonians wear long sleeves.” @Barks Ironically, most yard maintenance workers wear long sleeves.