Southwest Lawn Care
March - April
Monthly Tips

Selecting plants for spring
Spring is a fine time to explore what plants work best in your yard. As you begin to experiment, consider these important landscape (or xeriscape) design factors:

First, assess the function of the area(s) you plan to plant. Are they used for recreation, shade, border or entry areas or purely for decoration? How much sun, shade and wind do these areas receive?

Keep in mind the size your new plants will grow to when mature to avoid placing them too close together. Also, group plants with similar water needs together in your design to make your water use more efficient and effective for plant health.

Choose desert-hearty plants
Select plants that do well in our desert climate. Although nurseries offer a wide variety of plants, you'll have the greatest long-term success by focusing on hardy, low-water-use plants.

Since the majority of residential water use is in our yards, you'll be doing your part in the water conservation effort by choosing plants that require less water.

Some recommendations
Try some of these shrubs, trees and plants:

Valentine Bush - Masses of tubular red flowers begin blooming in early February and continue into March. They like full sun.

Cassia - This shrub's bright yellow blooms appear from January through March and sporadically the rest of the year.

Rosemary - A good companion plant for the cassia, rosemary blooms during the same periods.

Spanish lavender - Expect blue spikes of color in spring and fall.

Autumn Sage - Don't let the name fool you. This hummingbird favorite blooms all year, but most profusely from October through April.

Sweet Acacia - Puffy yellowish-orange flowers perfume the air from February through April.

Palo Verde - Count on a shower of golden-yellow blooms beginning in March.

Desert Willow - Native to local washes, this tree is beloved by hummingbirds and bees and produces clusters of fragrant orchid-like blossoms, ranging from white to deep purple.

Texas Mountain Laurel - This tree's large purple clusters of wisteria-like flowers looks as good as they smell.

Chaste Tree - Long, narrow spikes of purple flowers cover this shrub-like tree in early summer.

When buying a container-grown tree, look for a firm, straight trunk, good symmetry of branches and foliage free of browning or disease. Check the roots: the soil mix should stay in contact with the roots. Never buy a container-grown tree with tightly congested roots or one with thick roots poking through the drainage holes.

For best results with any bare-root trees, plant before mid-February. Plenty of small, fine-white, moist roots that are evenly spread out suggest a healthy tree.

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