Think water conservation as you plant this fall

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Fall is the time when many people think about home landscaping. But are you picking out the right plants to help conserve water in the long run? Water conservation may be something to keep in mind when you're out gardening this fall.

The idea is to plan now, months in advance of next summer, by establishing plants that can withstand the heat and humidity.

No shortage of rain in the last few days. But it wasn't long ago when Central Virginia desperately needed more of it!

The summers can be brutal on home landscapes. But not if you plan six to eight months ahead.

"We get into water restrictions and water issues not instantly, it takes a long time to get there so if we plan now to have a less water intensive landscape come into the spring and summer, we won't have the demand for that amount of water," said Mike Likins, Director and County Agent for the Chesterfield County Cooperative Extension.

Likins says now is the time to plant.

"You've got cooler soil temperatures, you've got adequate moisture and you've got less pest and disease issues," said Likins.

When shopping for plants, Likins suggests avoiding heavy water users and stick with ones native to Virginia.

"Redbud, Redbud would be an excellent one. They can handle our heat and our humidity and our droughts a lot better than some of the exotic ones," said Likins.

Likins also says you don't want to plant too deep, not only will the root suffocate, but the stem will rot.

As the cooler temperatures arrive, Likins said to keep in mind the heat when gardening and what makes sense for spring and summer.

"The roots are able to go down get established. There's not a lot of pressure on them then they can go dormant for the winter and come back with abundance in the spring," said Likins.
Likins said to also go easy on the mulch, only one to two inches is needed hold in moisture.

You can always call your local cooperative extension office or a nursery for landscaping advice.

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