Sangre de Cristo Mountains reaching into the snow clouds
Wow, what a difference between winter 2018 and this year.
This year’s mountain snowpack is good and getting better with each passing week. So this coming spring will be the best planting season in nearly a decade because soil moisture levels in northern New Mexico are being dramatically replenished from years of drought.
As ours soils absorb all this water, the plants in our landscapes and the wildlands around us will be revived. We can expect that the plants in our landscapes will grow more vigorously and flowering will be more robust, making it a banner year for bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators. It will also help gardeners to identify where new plants are needed to fill in for those lost in the drought with more xeric chooses.
Here in northern NM we always need to conserve our valuable water resources by planting xeric landscapes. And this year will the best time in years to do more extensive plantings and re-plant drought damaged areas of your yard.
Focus on planting more native plants and nectar-rich plants that support pollinators.
Plant habitat-enriching species of ornamental grasses, native shrubs and native succulents to provide shelter and food (seeds and fruits) for songbirds.
Plant flowering trees and shrubs that provide flowers for nectar and fruit for food.
This year will be a good one for getting the plants well established before future droughts materialize. A healthy, well established landscape makes it much more able to withstand dry conditions with minimal damage.
A Healthy Living Soil is Essential to Successful Transplanting.
The soil is at its healthiest when it’s moist. And that’s why even xeric plants prefer to be transplanted when precipitation levels are ample.
In a drought, the soil goes “dormant” meaning that many of the microorganisms and other beneficials like earthworms have gone into drought induced inactivity or died, leaving the soil’s underground ecology severely compromised and damaged.
With good moisture, the soil comes back to life, its incredible populations of beneficial soil dwelling organisms are able to live and reproduce which is essential to the welfare of plants that grow in the soil.
Growing for Spring
My staff and I have been busy since last summer collecting seeds from our test gardens and propagating all kinds of pollinator friendly, xeric perennials, vines, shrubs and ornamental grasses in anticipation of a moist spring planting season. We’re going to have a fabulous selection of waterwise plants ready for spring. Watch for more information via email and social media over the next few months regarding Spring 2019 plant offerings.