Should you hearken to Jerry Parson’s and my radio present Gardening South Texas, you realize we’ve been emphasizing that this can be a good time to plant shade timber. (The present airs on KLUP (AM 930) from midday to 2 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday, and you’ll hearken to outdated exhibits at 930amtheanswer.com.)
If you choose one of many timber really helpful for this space and plant it now, the tree may have time to develop some roots earlier than it’s challenged by our summer time temperatures and dry, restricted soils. We advocate Texas crimson oak, stay oak, Mexican white oak, cedar elm, Mexican sycamore, bur oak and chinkapin oak.
Planting a well-adapted shade tree will enhance a yard’s look, nevertheless it additionally possible will scale back the air con prices, and CPS’ rebate program offers you $50 per shade tree that meets its specs.
However you must also take into account planting small- to medium-size timber that complement the shade timber in your yard. A few of these medium-size timber will qualify for the CPS rebate, however even when they don’t, they make your panorama extra enticing and supply habitat for fascinating birds.
Some picks actually must be planted as specimens within the open to point out off their foliage and blooms. Some make great thickets for fowl habitat and as .hedges to dam or enhance a view.
The primary small tree on the checklist is Mexican plum. They develop to about 15 ft tall on most websites and work effectively as a specimen plant with its disciplined form and aromatic blooms. The timber are enticing even when the leaves have fallen, and the compact association of stems are seen within the winter.
They’ll tolerate some shade, in order that they work effectively when planted as a drift or thicket of three to 5 vegetation on the lot line on the fringe of your shade timber. Mexican plum fruit is edible, and Mexican plum is blooming now on some websites.
Should you develop one of many drought-tolerant Texas or Mexican redbud varieties, it in all probability additionally blooms every year presently. They work effectively collectively. It’s not a tree however add a naturalized planting of paperwhites underneath the Mexican plums and redbuds, and the general affect is a superb introduction to the brand new 12 months and the start of 12 months of blooms.
Texas and Mexican redbuds have shiny, smaller leaves than that of the East Texas model of redbud and so they prosper in our landscapes. Plant a number of on the sting of your shade tree border or amid the taller timber.
The redbuds don’t present as a lot cowl or meals for birds because the Mexican plum, however the blooms each winter are welcome, and redbuds are drought tolerant.
Do you have got a small lot and like to nurture a panorama dominated by garden with out irrigation? The only option for a specimen tree for it’s possible you’ll be the desert willow.
My favourite desert willow choice is the “Bubba” which was found and named by Paul Cox. All of the desert willows have blooms that resemble orchids with wealthy colours equivalent to burgundy, pink and white. “Bubba” is purple.
It’s critical about requiring dry, well-drained soil. The desert willow will develop to 25 ft tall and must be in full solar with minimal water to stay and to provide its distinctive blooms in a San Antonio summer time. Desert willow is a favourite hummingbird nectar plant, and it’s obtainable at many space nurseries.
Mexican olive blooms are additionally exceptionally enticing, however their principal limitation is chilly winter temperatures. Over a gentle winter, it is going to be evergreen. But when there’s a critical chilly spell, particular person vegetation can freeze to floor.
Mexican olive could also be one of many few vegetation to profit by growing temperatures in our climate-changing setting. Within the meantime, plant this enticing bloomer in full solar, however shut sufficient to a fence or constructing to offer some shelter.
The unrivaled white blooms are produced on a 25-foot plant over an extended season. Along with being enticing, the flowers are a favourite nectar supply of butterflies and hummingbirds.
Different small and medium measurement timber to contemplate for a San Antonio panorama are vitex, anaqua, Japanese plum, Texas persimmon and Mexican buckeye.
Calvin Finch is a retired Texas A&M horticulturist. email@example.com
This week within the backyard
Now that we’ve obtained some rain and we anticipate the temperatures to average, the winter weeds will lastly germinate. Hold them in management by mowing these within the garden. Use the string mower within the shrub border. In lots of instances the “inexperienced garden” you’re having fun with is rescue grass, annual blue grass and different enticing weeds.
It’s time to plant potatoes within the backyard. Dig a trench 1 foot deep and place a portion of a seed potato each 18 inches. Cowl the seed potato piece and fill the ditch up because the potato plant grows within the trench. Harvest the potatoes when blooms seem on the plant. For extra info go to plantanswers.com.
Crested titmice, Carolina chickadees, downy woodpeckers and Carolina wrens all use nest bins to boost their younger. Put the required nest field in place now to extend the probability that the birds will use the homes.
To encourage the garden and to enhance its efficiency, aerate and high gown it with compost. The aeration opens channels for the natural materials to penetrate to the roots for gasoline alternate, nutrient effectivity, environment friendly drainage and discount of compaction. Do it your self or rent a contractor.