It’s that time again to plan, prepare and plant.
Temperatures are warming, and our perennials are waking up and beginning to show signs of growth.
If you haven’t already, prune off the dead growth from last season and remove leaves and sticks from the base of the plants to allow for needed sunlight.
If you’re like me, you have probably lost a few plants due to the cold temperatures this winter. What a difference a year makes. Last winter was so mild; most of my plants came away with very little to no frost damage.
When I lose plants, I look at it as an opportunity to look for a new variety of Texas native or the same plant in a different color.
To make wise choices, it’s always good to “do your homework” and look for information that will make your plant shopping more stress-free and decisive.
Below are some very good sources on the Internet that will give you more than enough information to feel confident in your plant choices.
You’ll also get ideas about what or what not to plant and find some new varieties you’ve never tried.
- Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center: www.wildflower.org/expert/. It offers Mr. Smarty Plants, a native plant database, step-by-step guides, how-to articles and an image gallery.
- USDA plants: plants.usda.gov/
- Gardening almanac: www.almanac.com. It contains a vegetable, herb and fruit guide.
- Native Plant Society of Texas: www.npsot.org/wp/resources/links/
- Resource for poisonous, Earthkind and pictures of plants: www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/
I hope these will be useful to you as you dig your shorts out of winter storage, clean and sharpen your tools, maybe buy a new pair of gardening gloves and start creating a 2014 spring/summer masterpiece.
Darla Horner Menking is a Texas Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org