By Debbie Roland, Emmy Ulmschneider and Shirley Kelley, Master Gardeners
You know how you keep hearing that you need to eat right and exercise to stay healthy? Well, your yard and garden are the same way. Maintenance is a never-ending task that will pay off in the long run.
Whether you are amending your soil, adding drip irrigation, mulching, or planting, it all needs your attention over the gardening season. Some days you will be fighting four seasons in one day. Another day will be dry with high winds, always coinciding with the urge to sit on the couch and read a good book. It may seem like we are discouraging you from gardening but that is not the case at all.
Maintaining your garden can be amending your soil by adding compost; fixing the holes that the dog chewed in your drip (or squirrels like one of the above authors is enduring), adding new mulch each season and picking the perfect plant for the sunny spot in the corner of your yard.
With planting in mind, consider a Desert Willow tree (Chiliopsis linearis) which is a deciduous tree with beautiful burgundy flowers. A Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) is also a good choice and is evergreen, although you need to be careful with this one because the seed pods are poisonous – just an FYI if you have kids or pets. Flame Acanthus (Anisacanthus wrightii) with its beautiful reddish orange blooms which will attract hummingbirds. This one should be planted in a protected area since it might not be winter hardy if it gets too cold.
One of our favorites is Texas Sage (Leucophyllum langmaniae) ‘Rio Bravo’ which can grow from 3’ to 10’ tall. We all recognize it from its purple blooms present along Texas roadways. Also Angelita Daisy (Hymenoxys acoulis) which is a 1’ semi evergreen perennial with yellow flowers. This plant may also bloom in winter months.
A favorite saying of Master Gardeners is “The best thing you can give your garden is your shadow”. So go outside this season, get some sunshine and exercise, grow a few edible plants while maintaining your health and the health of your hardscape, irrigation and your garden.
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information is available at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and westtexasgardening.org.