Make some shopping expeditions to your favorite nurseries to select water-conserving trees, shrubs and perennials.
• Inspect trees for dieback and weak limbs, which are common in drought-stressed plants, and remove before they become a safety hazard.
• Leave frost-damaged growth on tender plants as protection until the danger of frost is past. Begin pruning as new growth emerges.
• Finish deciduous pruning - chip debris for mulch.
• Wait to prune spring-flowering shrubs until after they bloom.
• Fertilize blooming ornamentals such as camellias and azaleas that have finished blooming.
• Fertilize cool-season lawns late in the month if the fall fertilization was missed.
• Add permanent plantings of nondeciduous and needle evergreens.
• Annuals: fibrous begonia, twinspur (Diascia).
• Bulbs, corms, tubers: autumn crocus.
• Fruits and vegetables: cabbage, lemon grass (Cymbopogon).
• Perennials: Red-Hot Poker (Kniphofia), wallflower (Erysimum), blanket flower (Gaillardia).
• Trees, shrubs, vines: bird of paradise bush (Caesalpinia), beautyberry (Callicarpa), bottlebrush (Callistemon).
• Annuals and perennials: calendula, larkspur (Consolida).
• Bulbs, corms, tubers: daffodil, iris.
• Trees, shrubs, vines: dogwood (Cornus), forsythia, lemon.
• Fruits and vegetables: chives, fennel, kohlrabi, leek.
Things to ponder:
• Water may be scarce again this summer. Limit new plantings of annuals and bedding plants and consider converting part of your landscape watering system to drip irrigation.
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