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Here’s A Cheap Way To Start Gardening In North Texas — And Save Water Too

Two cardboard trays labeled Go Grow with native plants inside.
Rooted In
Rooted In
Rooted In's Go Grow trays help beginning gardeners.

Gardening starter packs are available from a regional collaboration that includes big water suppliers.

Has the pandemic pushed you to start gardening, or pushed you to think about gardening? Texas weather allows for growing seasons that start and end at many different times during the year. That can provide you with a nearly year-long hobby, but also high water bills.

“During the growing season, up to 60% of our water goes for outside use,” said Daniel Cunningham, co-owner of the landscape and conservation business Rooted In.

To help the new gardener save water, Rooted In has teamed up with large water suppliers in Dallas-Fort Worth to sell gardening starter packs with “plant-by-number” designs. The kits include native plants and others that have adapted to the North Texas climate.

It’s an effort to branch out, so to speak, and reach a broader audience with the message of conservation. People who use native plants already are usually folks with an existing interest in sustainability.

“We’re trying to reach people where they are, and gardening is one way to do that,” Cunningham said.

People can get two different “starter kits.” One is plants that attract bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators, and another has plants that don’t need as much sunlight. The kits include garden designs, a planting and maintenance guide, and a fact sheet about each plant.

The kits cost $75 each. Other funding has come from North Texas Municipal Water District, Upper Trinity Regional Water District, Tarrant Regional Water District, and several cities.

Find more information at

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Got a tip? Email Bret Jaspers at You can follow Bret on Twitter @bretjaspers.

Bret Jaspers is a reporter for KERA. His stories have aired nationally on the BBC, NPR’s newsmagazines, and APM’s Marketplace. He collaborated on the series Cash Flows, which won a 2020 Sigma Delta Chi award for Radio Investigative Reporting. He's a member of Actors' Equity, the professional stage actors union.