Plants for hot and dry conditions
- BY GLADYS JEURINK
Most of us want
flowers but not a huge water bill.
The first phrase which comes to mind is “think native”. These
are the plants that have survived our weather, our wind, our dry years,
as well as our clay soil. “XERISCAPING”
is a term created by Colorado to encourage less use of water.
(Remember, Colorado averages 14 inches of rain per year compared
to the 26 to 28 inches average here in Lincoln.) Nebraska has its share
of drouth years and a good deal of it is listed as a marginal region for
drouth potential. However, Lincoln is on the edge of “humid region-vulnerable
to short drouths” in a Geological Survey map.
If you must
have a few of the “water lovers” to be happy, try to find a place
where all of them can be planted close by.
Then you’ll need extra water in this area only.
If they can be protected from wind they will need less water.
The first priority is to work with your soil. Adding compost
gives it the ability to hold water instead of draining away. Another way
you can have “water lovers” is to plant them in containers and move
them around to suit your style. They,
and not the whole yard, can be watered.
priority (soil) holds true for your dry garden.
If their roots can grow easily and not have to fight obstacles in
their hunt for water, they will do better.
Mulching plants to prevent runoff when it does rain will stop
evaporation from the soil as well as hold on to the rainwater when it
comes. Don’t bury the
stems as this can cause rotting. Mulch
also prevents weed seeds from seeing light and starting to grow.
You will also need to know the special likes of the plants you
Do they prefer sandy soil?
Can their roots compete?
Are they invasive enough to
take over an area?
decide on a happy home, remember that all plants getting started will
need to be watered some until they adjust.
Your new “dry garden” may take just as much water as ever for
the first year.
Many bulbs do
well in a “no watering” garden as they come up and bloom and die
back before the hot weather arrives.
What they do need is adequate fall moisture to get them started.
I think of Virginia
pulmonarioides) as a good example.
I have a large bed under the cottonwood coming up early and
making a dense blue bed very early.
They are vigorous and come up through bark chips and bloom and
disappear by the end of May. I
then move my tables and chairs in there for the rest of the summer.
bloom early and then rest, as do jonquils
thus not requiring any summer watering.
If you like
ornamental grasses, they will fit into your “dry garden” very well
after you get them started. Big bluestem (Andropogon
gerardii) gets very tall for your background, and I like “Karl
reed grass (Calamagrostis
acutiflora) for that also. This
grass blooms early and has a tan shade later in the year. Bunny grass is only
8-10 inches high with fuzzy tails for seed heads. Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata
cylindria) will give
you a red spot about 18 inches high.
“coneflower” group is a standby for any gardener.
angustifolia) and Blackeyed
fulgida) are probably the best known and both will do fairly well in
light shade. Penstemens of any kind
resent wet feet, especially in the winter. Like the grasses they come in all heights.
of many colors survive with little water.
The Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemem
vulgare) you see growing in the ditches are invasive.
As soon as they finish blooming, I pull them up by the root and
shake. Enough seeds will have matured to fill in the space for next
year. Russian Sage (Perovskia
ruber), Coreopsis (Coreopsis
species), and Daylilies
(Hemerocallis species) are all
low water plants. Gray
plants are often watered sparingly.
In fact, Lambs
Ears (Stachys byzantine)
are killed by wet feet.
dozens of other plants for you choose from and often after they get
started, they can take care of themselves.
by george edgar
Now is the time
to begin control of grasshoppers. Adult
grasshoppers are difficult to control with insecticides due to their
size and decreased susceptibility to the insecticides.
The best time to control grasshoppers is during the 3rd
and 4th instars when they are ½ to ¾ inch long.
These stages will occur in mid to late June.
active ingredients for products designed for grasshopper control in and
around the yard and garden are: carbaryl (Sevin), Acephate (Isotox),
Malathion, Bifenthrin (Ortho MAX), and permethrin (Eight).
control use Nosema locustae (Nolo Bait).
NOLO BAIT is nosema locustae spores sprayed on wheat bran which
can be spread around the yard and garden and is non-toxic to humans,
livestock, wild animals, birds, fish or life forms not closely related
to grasshoppers. Death will
begin to occur in 3 to 6 weeks. Re-apply
bait every 4 weeks until end of summer. Copyright jUNE