By Mary Ellen Ellis | July 10, 2020
Drought conditions can really put your garden to the test. Whether it’s an unusual period of dry weather or repeated cycles of insufficient rain typical of your area, drought is a battle that all gardeners face at some point. If your local environment is dry or has a tendency to experience regular droughts, you can design your garden not only to survive, but to thrive.
How can you ask? Simple. Try these 5 drought-resistant landscape tactics and don’t worry anymore when there is no rain in the forecast.
- Become a native. One of the best strategies for fighting drought is to use native plant species. If your area is dry, these plants are already adapted to survive a drought. Choosing native plants simplifies your life. You won’t have to work too hard to change the soil or aquatic plants that thrive in the local ecosystem.
- Choose drought resistant plants. You can also choose some non-native plants that tolerate drought better than others. Cacti, succulents, ornamental herbs, lavender, santolina, red bud, blackberry, spice shrub, witch hazel, black-eyed susan and baby’s breath are just some examples of plants that tolerate drought conditions.
- Leave the grass. Most types of grass used in lawns are thirsty. They need a lot of water to stay green. To make your garden more drought resistant, replace some or all of your lawns with a drought resistant mix of herbs or other plants. Use carpets, shrubs and native perennials instead of grass. Also, consider using rocks or gravel in some areas instead of the lawn.
- Store water and irrigate efficiently. If you don’t become totally native and have thirsty plants, you can survive a drought with intelligent irrigation techniques. Install a drip irrigation system, which is one of the most efficient ways to irrigate beds and plants. You can also save water with a barrel of rain and use it to water the plants later when conditions dry out.
- Use mulch wisely. Mulch is a smart way to hold water in the ground. Without mulching around plants, the water they get from rain or irrigation will evaporate quickly, especially in drought conditions. Gravel or pebbles are good choices for mulching around plants that are generally drought resistant. Bark mulch can retain too much moisture and cause rot in this type of plant.
It is not difficult to make your garden more drought resistant. You just need some drought tolerant landscaping ideas on the spot. Regardless of whether you employ all or only some of these tactics, you will soon be on your way to test your landscape for future battles with Mother Nature.