Another reason why plants at this time don't grow much roots is because all of the energy is used in growing and leafing out so hand watering would be a must for the first year.
An idea would be to take the dry broken soil and remove the top layer. Replace this with humus soil or better dirt and that will help your plants get established better. Once established the dry soil should not be a problem as long as the plants get enough water. Some organic plant start fertilizer would help to.
Native plants are a good idea. Enchinacea "Cone Flowers", Liatris "Blazing Stars" and Ephorium "Joe Pye Weeds" I would think would do fine in dry broken soil as long as they are watered plenty and have mostly sunny to full sun.
Hostas are the best plant you can buy for dry cracked soil and they are drought tolerant once established. I don't care for them as much because everyone has Hostas but they do get big and green up the yard with thier pretty foilage plus there is so many varities and the bumble bees love the flowers. Rose of Sharons are extremely hardy small shurbs (10 FT max) and they are very pretty. If your looking for something that flowers I suggest you check them out. They are late to come up but by mid Summer they are covered with pretty flowers and the bees love them. The "Satin" and "Chifton" series are really pretty or you could go with the dwarf version. Rose of Sharons are hard to kill. A dwarf butterfly bush would also work. They are somewhat drought tolerant. Seedums atract bees, are drought tolerant once established and need partial to full sun. They seem to grow really good for me. You could try Clematis. They are vines but some varities are hardy and adaptable to different conditions. Clematis prune group 2 require little care and no pruning and they can live over 50 years old. Some have an abundance of small flowers while others have huge tropical looking flowers. Mulch or small plants at the bottom of the vine helps protect the bottom of the vine from the Sun.
I hope that helps you out.
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