What do you want to plant?
I can't think of anything right now that you can't plant in your zone
I'm further North & I plant all sorts of stuff from early Spring to Fall
New grass usually grows better in the Fall
But I've planted grass in June without any problem
Budget your purchases to include irrigation. I used to live in Norfolk. Nothing sucked worse than when 100 degree temps hit for the week while I was on vacation = dead garden. With some dedicated irrigation and a timer, I'd plant just about anything.
I loved McDonald nursery on Independence (I think there's one in Chesapeake, too. Plants are on the pricy side, but they have a excellent selection and knowledgeable staff.
- check your soil: is it sandy? you might have to add compost.
- check your drainage rate: dig a small hole, dump some water in it, watch and wait. If it drains quickly, pick plants that like good drainage.
- spend a day noting what the sun does in your yard. What areas are sunny, what are sun/shade, what are shade. Pick plants accordingly.
- think about how you want the yard to look in 1 year and in 5 years. Note the mature size of the plants you like and plant them accordingly (you don't want to move a large shrub or tree because you planted it too close to your foundation/garage/driveway).
For VA Beach I would do some research on Xeriscaping. I'm sure your local extension office has a pamphlet or info on this.
I agree with the posts above. There really isn't anything you can't plant right now. I just finished up our new flower beds a couple weeks ago, and everything is coming in nicely.
If you are talking about planting grass seed, I'd start off with a product called Clay Busters since our soil has a very high clay content. A day later you can rake up all the thatch from the yard, then put down a good lawn fertilizer (or de-thatch the yard first then spray Clay Busters after). Then drop your seed and cover with 1/4" of good soil and water the hell out of it. Keep the soil moist by doing several light waterings during the day, and a good soaking twice a week. If you have patches after the seed comes up (about 2" or so), lightly rake over that with a hand rake and drop more seed down in those areas, cover with soil, and water as you would above. I just planted grass in early May and I'm still working on a few patches.
I agree about the heat/drought conditions of our area. A good investment would be a rain barrel - that way you are not wasting a resource to keep your plants alive. They come in many designs and sizes, and hook right up to your downspout.
I'm about to plant some seeds and more bulbs in our backyard (full sun) and even bulbs that are supposed to be planted in the fall are already starting to come up in our front beds even though I just put them in.
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