Don’t let the chilly temps keep you indoors! There are still some things you can do in your landscape now to have that beautiful spring landscape you dream about. Water Expert Denise Hickey and Horticulturalist Patrick Dickinson shared several great tips on the most recent WFAA Green Segment. As always, we’ve got the full video segment for you below and a quick recap here.
Plant Dormancy Means Reduced Stress
This is one of the best times to plant shrubs, perennials and especially trees. Fall is when a lot of plants go into dormancy, like deciduous trees, and when we plant them while they are dormant then we reduce the amount of stress that plants endure when being transplanted. And when the plant comes out of dormancy in the spring without a container to hinder its root growth, it establishes itself faster.
Native and Adaptive Plants Are Always Best
Native and adaptive plants that are zoned for the North Texas area are not only recommended but also your best option. Select plants that thrive in our harsh conditions and soil without a lot of extra care. Plants that are too needy often cause us to use too many resources like fertilizer and water to help them survive. Choose plants that demand little of your time and are rock stars in both the heat of summer and the iciest of winters.
Evergreen trees maintain their leaves all winter and tend to drop some leaves in the spring when they are flushing out new growth. Deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall. Evergreen shrubs keep their leaves all winter, while perennial plants and flowers go dormant. For perennials, it’s best to leave the old growth until the end of February first of March to help protect the plant during winter. After the first of March, you can prune the old growth to make room for new.
Here are some plant combinations that show off the difference in evergreen, perennial and deciduous:
- Shady spots – try Cast Iron Plant, Variegated Abelia, and a Japanese Maple
- Sunny spots – Sunshine Ligustrum and Chinese Fringe Flower work well.
- Partial Sun/Shade – Variegated Abelia is versatile for both.
How to Protect Plants in Frigid Weather
There are many products out there you can purchase that help provide protection to your tender plants, but they most only help with freezing precipitation and do very little to protect from the actual temperatures. If you purchase freeze blankets and freeze cloths, the key is to use a material that is breathable and definitely not plastic. Plastic holds to much moisture and can smother your plants.
A better option if you do have plants that need protection, is to consider planting something hardier now. Fall is a great time to plan and plant a landscape that is tougher and less dependent on constant upkeep.
For more information on all the information visit their watermyyard.org and wateruniversity.tamu.edu.