Planting for Spring

Winter Thoughts for Spring Series

Part 3 of 3

Tips to Prepare Early for New Plantings

The weather is cold and frosty, and those warm summer evenings and fall leaves are a distant memory. Spring feels far away, but is actually just around the corner. In a few short weeks, trees will begin to bloom, and daffodils and tulips will poke their heads up after the long winter. In the third article in this three part series, we will provide tips on how to plan for new plantings.

New Plantings:

Now is a good time to review the plants in your landscaping. You may want to replace poorly performing, or aging plants in the spring with better varieties or to augment your existing landscape. Depending on your personal horticultural skills, you may want to consult your landscaper or your local nursery for recommendations. Planting in spring will give the plants time to acclimate prior to the hot weather. It will also allow the rain to help water the plants, rather than just relying on the irrigation system. The following are considerations to increase the success of your new plantings:

  • Plant size at maturity is critical to avoid over crowding in the future.
  • Group plants by sun and water requirements, this allows for efficient irrigation programming when plants reach maturity
  • Use plants with varying foliage color such as variegated or purple leaves. (Light colored foliage will stand out in shady places!)
  • Choosing California native plants will help your landscape look great in all seasons. Natives do well in our soil types and climate, usually with less water and fertilizer required. Some of our favorite varieties include:
    • Monkeyflower – several varieties available. A fast-growing small shrub. It grows 2-3 feet tall with narrow leaves and showy, two-lipped pale yellow or orange flowers that attract bees.
    • Yarrow - These plants can be used to cover a large territory with sage-scented ferny foliage that dies back in winter. Six inch to foot high flowering stalks carry flat-topped clusters of tiny white pink daisies from late spring to summer
    • Matilija poppy (Romenya Coulteri) - Perennial that can grow to over 6 feet tall. Bluish – green leaves and huge flowers with crumpled white petals and golden stamens makes a stunning addition to any garden. It blooms from early summer to fall and is attractive to bees.
    • Hummingbird fuchsia (Epilobium canum, and E. septentrionale) – Fuchsia like blossoms attractive to hummingbirds, grows about 3 feet high. Gray to bright green leaves and arrow trumpet shaped scarlet flowers that bloom from August to late Fall.
    • California wild rose (Rosa californica) – This lovely shrub has compound leaves and stems without prickles. Flat-topped clusters of fragrant, pink, single rose flowers appear throughout the summer. Bright red hips attract wildlife in fall.

    Taking these steps now will ensure your irrigation system and landscape are in top shape come spring.

Previously in this series - Prepare your Irrigation System for Spring

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Winter Thoughts for Spring

The weather is cold and frosty, and those warm summer evenings and fall leaves are a distant memory. Spring feels far away, but is actually just around the corner. In this 3 part series we will provide tips on how to prepare your landscape for spring.

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