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Converting landscape to xeriscape
Q. We would like to convert our lawn to a low-water use landscape in order to save maintenance and water. We also understand that a xeriscape can be lush and have 12 months of color. The only thing stopping us is the task of conversion. It is a big job! Are we overstating the work?
A. Yes, I think you are. The conversion can be as simple as killing the remaining grass and weeds with Round-up, covering the bare ground with mulch, and planting the groundcovers, perennials, and shrubs into the mulch as your time and budget allow. Visit www.plantanswers.com and review my articles on the task.
Q. Which tree would you plant between a live oak and a Mexican white oak and why?
A. Live oaks are beautiful, valuable shade trees, but I would probably plant a Mexican white oak, because it is just as beautiful and valuable. Mexican live oak grows faster and is resistant to oak wilt.
Q. How far into the spring will the turnips, rutabaga, beets, and carrots be worth keeping in the ground?
A. They will probably maintain their quality through April. Start giving them away as likely beneficiaries (victims) are identified. In my experience, carrots last the best.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist and the San Antonio Water System’s project director of regional initiatives and special projects. Hear him on “Gardening South Texas” on KLUP 930 AM radio Saturdays noon to 2 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Or, e-mail him at email@example.com.
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