Live in Texas? Plant in Fall and Winter…reap the benefits next Summer.
December 19, 2011
Seriously folks, I know it's like pulling teeth to get most of you to follow this advice that us expert horticulturists are always trying to get you to follow. But it's for your own good. Really.
Prunus Mexicana, Mexican Plum. Texas Native, drought tolerant, fragrant spring blooms and tons of tasty plums!
I realize that many of you that have transplanted from up North just aren't used to planting in Fall and Winter. You plant in April and May. That's the only time you plant. But I'm hoping that after this last brutal summer, you'll finally realize why it's the better choice than planting in spring. I'm talking trees, shrubs, groundcovers and perennials here.
Especially with water restrictions most likely to be in place for our long-term future, you're really setting yourself up for much more summer success if you'll plant your high-dollar or larger specimens now. Yes, you can plant trees and shrubs when they are completely dormant. Our soil doesn't freeze here, so you can plant year-round. When you plant now, your beauties will have many months to start putting down roots and start getting established before they have to suffer through the heat of summer. Our fall and winter weather is mild, we usually get a decent amount of rainfall, such that you only have to water minimally. The sun isn't nearly as intense as it is in summer so plants get a much needed break when newly planted.
Plant now, and it will be much easier for you to get your plantings through next summer. Plant those trees and shrubs in May...and you'll struggle continuously to get them established in the heat. You may end up having to replace them because they just don't get consistent enough moisture due to the environmental conditions. Why waste the time and money? No one likes having to start over, much less spend more money on replacement plants.
Good nurseries will still have a good selection of fruit trees (because now is the best time to plant them), shade trees, Japanese maples, hardy foundation shrubs, groundcovers and drought-hardy perennials.
So...get planting! I do all my major landscaping in fall and winter...I have some new beds I'll be putting in very soon. Photos to come!