Spring is right around the corner - Ground Hog Phil said so! Of course you can trust a large rodent to always tell the truth, can’t you? The long range forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center had “below average” precipitation and “above average” temperatures for the next seven months. Though we are only six weeks into 2013, and just over once week since Phil’s Prediction, I’m sorry to say, it looks like both sources are right.
Most January’s in southwest Oklahoma are dry but this year was drier than most. Temperatures were on a roller coaster- way up then rapidly plunging only to climb again. Overall, we had more warm days than cold. So the Climate Prediction Center looks to be right.
Which we might want to consider, as we’re looking over the seed catalogs and planning this year’s flower or vegetable garden. Let’s remember most municipalities are still under some type of water restrictions, without substantial spring rains those restrictions will not be lifted.
While we are still having the occasional plunge into freezing temperatures, take the time to do some garden planning. It might be prudent to limit your garden selections to those plants that require less water. Now that doesn’t mean you have to have a “dry Zen garden” with nothing but raked gravel and several large boulders or a cactus garden.
Select varieties of your chosen plants that need less water. Plan on grouping plants that have similar water needs near one another. Use more mulch to shade the soil from the sun and hold in moisture. Use more soaker hoses that slowly drip the water right where it is needed rather than spraying it high into the air with sprinkler systems. These are all steps to “xeriscaping” check it out on the web or your local library.