Don’t let the long, wet winters fool you: Summer is on its way. And with it comes long, hot days with little to no rain.
April is the perfect time to start planting new plants and removing old plants that didn’t fare so well in last summer’s heat. Want to save water and time this summer? Look no further than water-wise plants.
Many native plants and adapted plants are well-suited to our wet winter and dry summer Willamette Valley climate. Native plants – think vine maple, yarrow, and goldenrod – can handle the long dry summers and eight to nine months of “liquid sunshine.” By choosing plants that are right for the conditions in your yard, you can cut down on watering and maintenance costs. Plus, native plants are a gorgeous compliment to the beautiful natural areas surrounding us.
Check out these great guides to Water-Efficient Plants for the Willamette Valley and Native Plants for Willamette Valley Yards.
Make a planting plan.
Does your yard have full sun, shade or a combination? Is your soil type similar throughout your space or do you have a mix? By grouping plants with similar drainage, sunlight and water needs you’ll have happier plants and save water.
If you want some inspiration or help making a native landscape plan, check out these upcoming free naturescaping workshops through East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. (Live on the west side? Check out the West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District native plant workshops.)
Schedule a weekend to mulch.
Mulching your garden is one of the best ways to retain soil moisture and reduce the amount of water you use to keep plants perky in the summer. Mulching is often easier to do in the spring before perennials have come up.
Look at your calendar now and make a plan to mulch. Learn more about the benefits of mulch in this OSU Extension article.
Get more information about the benefits of using native plants in your landscape here.