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Wundt asked in Home & GardenGarden & Landscape · 7 years ago

should I wait to plant my shrubs?

I live in central Texas and we are in the third year of a drought. We got more rain this year, but are still at a deficit. I have a strip I prepared for planting over a year ago, but I decided not to plant anything there until the drought was over, or at least a little better. The plan is to put in something drought tollerant, like a sage or rosemary.

We are entering the prime time for planting shrubs in Texas (Feb). I don't want to plant only to have them all die when the summer heat and dryness hits. Should I wait another year to see if the drought ends or just go ahead and plant, taking the higher risk that I will lose them. My wife is tired of the empty beds.

2 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favourite answer

    The more time they have to settle in before the severe heat of summer hits, the better. Do it now, or wait until fall. (Fall-planted shrubs usually need less watering to get established than spring planted shrubs, but the earlier in spring, the better, and the alternative would be to wait another 9 months.)

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Probably just plant them. Each year there will probably be dry and hot periods. Droughts will probably keep happening sometimes. Save as much rain water as possible, and use rain water to water the plants, maybe you can save enough so you only need rainwater for your plants, it depends on how hot and dry it normally is where you live and how many plants you water.

    Consider planting more large fruit, nut or maple trees in your yard and around your house for shade to reduce evaporation and heat. Large trees can go a month with out water after full grown.

    If you plant food trees/bushes, make sure they are self-fertile/self-fruiting (so you only need 1 plant to have fruit not 2) organic non-gmo.

    Drip irrigation can deliver water in the right amount directly to the plant, so the plant continually gets what it needs, and wont waste as much water compared to pouring water on the garden once a day. very thin plastic tube $0.13/foot at local hardware store.

    To help prevent disease/mold; Don’t overhead water/spray top of plants with water.

    Keeping soil covered with mulch, hay, dead grass, moss, or low-growing ground cover/cover crop(ex:herniaria glabra green carpet rupturewort) helps keep moisture in soil, and help prevent weeds.

    Mulch= wood chips. untreated organic red cedar is the preferred mulch. any type of untreated organic non-toxic non-moldy wood chips can work, not walnut wood because its toxic to some plants.

    Don’t put mulch against the trunk, it damages the plant. don’t use more then 2 inches of mulch.

    Air-gating the soil by punching out cylinders of the soil can help loosen the soil and help water and nutrients get deeper into the soil instead of just sitting on top

    Preferably have loose soil beds, not hard or clayey. Loose soil helps the water get in deeper rather than just sitting on top. Potting soil can be mixed in to loosen it. Digging the soil well should be done before planting.

    Add red wiggler worms to help loosen the soil and their poop adds nutrients.

    Add an inch of compost yearly to the plants, it makes the plants more water retentive

    Consider making the soil beds for the plants slightly sunken to help more water go to the plant.

    Consider providing partial shade for the plants during the hottest part of the day, not too much shade.

    Consider planting in an area that is mostly full sun, or naturally provides some shade during the hottest part of the day, and not full sun, as that will help reduce water evaporation. Full sun is better for many plants than mostly full sun. If you have to save water than mostly full sun is ok.

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