AUSTIN (KXAN) — After one of the hottest summers on record, our backyards may need a bit more than “T.L.C” to get back to normal. But how do you know whether its worth the time to nurse your plants back to health… or just grab the shovel and start over?
Meteorologist Kristen Currie spoke with Andrea DeLong-Amaya, Director of Horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, to get advice ahead of fall planting season.
Below is a transcript of their conversation. Edits have been made for clarity.
Kristen Currie, KXAN News: Joining us today from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is Andrea DeLong-Amaya. She’s the Director of Horticulture there. Andrea, help! What do we do? Where do we start? I’m worried about the stress my plants in my backyard have been through over the last several months.
Andrea DeLong-Amaya, LBJ Wildflower Center: Yeah, indeed, I am worried too. And it’s tricky. You know, we may not know all of the damage until maybe next spring when the trees leaf back out. Some things will probably leaf back out as soon as we get some good rain. But it might be that some things wait until the spring to actually fully leaf out. Then we’ll be able to assess all of the damage at that point.
Currie: Are there tips that you would encourage homeowners and gardeners to think about as we start to get into the planting or maybe even replanting of our backyards?
Delong-Amaya: Yeah, I think the first thing is, if you want to do planting, fall is a great time to do it. That gives the plants the whole winter to get the roots established before the brutality of the next summer because we can just expect summers to always be hideous here in Central Texas. So the sooner you can get things planted and get them established, the more likely they’ll do better. So that’s the first thing I would suggest. Also, we’ve learned over and over now or that native plants are doing better than the non-natives. They’re going to take less water, they’re going to be more heat and drought resistant, generally speaking, and also in the cold. We noticed that when we had these extreme winter storms the last few years that the native plants were the ones that did the best. So there’s a reason for that. So check out the natives.
Currie: We love having the Wildflower Center in our backyard – thank you so much, Andrea, for joining us today.
Delong-Amaya: Sure. Thank you. Appreciate it.
If looking to add to your yard, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is gearing up for their annual ‘Fall Native Plant Sale’. For more details, click here.