Whether you want to add new plants to your yard or you’re replacing plants you lost to winter’s freezing temperatures, now is the time to plant to give them the best chance of surviving the summer heat.
Ideally, new plants should be installed when nighttime temperatures are over 55 degrees for a prolonged period of time and daytime temperatures are less than 90 degrees. For our desert landscape, plant replacement is most successful in the early spring because temperatures and humidity allow the plant to establish itself in its new environment before the harsher summer weather arrives. Certain tree species like acacia salicina and the desert willow demand spring planting because they establish new roots very slowly.
When choosing your new plants and trees, ask yourself these following questions:
Is it the right plant/tree for the right space?
How big is your plant or tree going to be in its mature size as it relates to its space? Does it have thorns that could grow into the common areas and sidewalks? Do the roots have enough space to find the nutrients it needs? Expect trees to have root systems that reach out underground has far as its canopy extends.
What kind of light does it need?
The closer that the plant is to those hard surfaces like sidewalks and brick walls, the more sun and heat it will absorb. Be cautious of placing plants near these reflective surfaces.
How much water does it need?
Young plants will need more water as they root out looking for nutrients in the soil. Look for signs of distress like wilting or curling of leaves, leaves losing their color, and dead stems as signals of needing to water more. Also consider possibly using mulch or fertilizer to boost the young plant’s growth.
A young tree will need to have more emitters located near its trunk initially. These emitters will need to be moved from the trunk on a yearly basis to encourage the spread of the roots as the tree matures.