Dry winter reminds us to be smart about how we tend our lawns, gardens and trees

We can’t predict with certainty that the coming year will be another drought year, but we should be prepared.
If rainfall amounts for the entire season are less than average (11.6 inches), water conservation will once again be an absolute necessity.
We must also take steps now to maintain the health of our mature landscape trees which were not able to fully recover from four years of severe drought during last year’s wet winter.
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In fact, both types of grasses are dormant in winter and can do without any supplemental irrigation if the soil is still moist from previous rainfall.
If rainfall amounts still fall short of average by late spring, put off planting even drought-tolerant varieties.
Winter is pruning season, but giving trees a hard pruning or, as is more common in our area, overpruning or topping the trees, will create a strong flush of new growth that will draw up a lot more water.
During drought years, it’s best to prune lightly, removing only dead or diseased wood and using “heading” cuts on branch tips to control size and growth direction.
They are qualified to speak on a wide variety of gardening topics and answer all your gardening questions.
Send Elinor Teague plant questions at etgrow@comcast.net.

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