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Many people have been participating in native plant programs and purchasing native plants at sale events in April and May. It’s now June and the hot, dry summer weather has arrived. In the Kansas City area, we have received only a little rain since the big storm in late May.

Protect Your Investment in native plants!

Maintenance the first year is important to get your plants established. Pay close attention to your young native plants the first season in the garden. Be certain to water young plants with at least 1 inch of water each week when the weather is dry.  Water your plants by hand from a rain barrel or hose. Monitor your sprinkler system if this is how you water your garden.

How much is 1 inch of water when watering with a sprinkler? If you don’t have a rain gauge, use a tuna fish or similar can which is about 1 inch in depth.  Set the can in your garden as the sprinkler runs. When the can is full, turn off the water.

Remember, when landscaping with native plants, sleep, creep, leap is the way for native plants.

Sleep – Year 1 the plant exerts its energy into a strong root system.

Creep – Year 2 native plants put energy into roots, leaves and a few flowers.

Leap – Year 3 native plants leap into their glory with lots of foliage and flowers on display.

Good maintenance during the early years of a native plant’s life will reward you with healthy plants, a beautiful landscape, and pollinating insects for many years to come.