How to Keep Your Garden Alive During a Drought

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It’s hot. It’s dry. And your garden is wilting.

You’re not alone. Gardeners across many parts of the world are facing the same challenges you are. The drought is real, and it’s taking its toll on our plants.

But don’t despair! You can do many things to keep your garden alive during a drought.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the challenges gardeners face in keeping a garden from drying and explore potential solutions.

We’ll also share some tips and tricks that have helped other gardeners keep their gardens alive during droughts.

So whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a complete novice, this blog post is for you.

Choose drought-tolerant plants.

gardening in drought situations

Many beautiful and easy-care plants thrive in dry conditions. Some popular choices include:

Succulents: Succulents are an excellent choice for drought-tolerant gardens. They have thick, fleshy leaves that store water, which helps them to survive in dry conditions. Some popular succulents include aloe vera, cacti, and sedums.

Crassulas: These plants are also known as “living stones” because their leaves resemble stones. They are very drought-tolerant and can thrive in even the most arid conditions. Some popular crassulas include jade, elephant bush, and watch chain plants.

Agaves: These plants are native to the desert and are well-adapted to dry conditions. They have sharp spines that help to protect them from animals, and their leaves store water. Some popular agaves include century plant, blue agave, and Maguey.

Evergreen shrubs: Evergreen shrubs can add year-round interest to your garden. They are typically drought-tolerant and can withstand a wide range of temperatures. Some popular evergreen shrubs include juniper, boxwood, and holly.

Grasses: Grasses are a versatile choice for drought-tolerant gardens. They come in various heights and colors and create different looks. Some popular grasses include blue grama, fountain grass, and maidenhair grass.

Mulch around your plants.

Mulching is a great way to conserve water in drought conditions. Mulch helps to keep the soil cool and moist, which helps plants to retain water. It also helps to prevent evaporation, which can be a significant source of water loss in dry climates.

You can use a variety of mulches in drought conditions. Some popular choices include:

  • Wood chips: Wood chips are natural mulch available in different varieties. They are a good choice for gardens that require frequent weeding, as they help to suppress weeds.
  • Pine needles: Pine needles are another natural mulch available in many varieties. They are a good choice for gardens in shady areas, as they help keep the soil cool.

When mulching for drought conditions, apply a layer of mulch at least 2 inches thick. This will help to provide the maximum amount of water conservation.

Water deeply and less frequently.

When you do water your plants, water them deeply so that the water reaches the roots. This will help them survive even if you must go a few days without watering.

Water in the morning.

watering plants

Watering in the morning helps reduce evaporation and ensures the water reaches the roots. This is especially important in drought conditions when water is scarce.

When you water plants in the morning, they absorb and use the water more efficiently.

Avoid overhead watering.

Overhead watering can lead to water loss due to evaporation. Instead, use the following:

Drip irrigation: Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the root zone through constant tiny drops. It’s an efficient and environmentally friendly irrigation method because it conserves water by minimizing water loss from evaporation and runoff.

Soaker hoses: Soaker hoses are another efficient way to water plants. Soaker hoses are perforated hoses that deliver water slowly and evenly to the soil. This method is excellent when watering large areas or plants spaced far apart.

Inspect your plants regularly.

Check your plants regularly for signs of drought stress, such as wilting leaves or browning tips. If you see any signs of stress, water your plants immediately.

Create shade for your plants.

 If you have plants sensitive to heat, you can create shade for them using a tarp, shade cloth, or just a few branches.

Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater.

rain barrel

This water can be used to water your plants during a drought.

Be patient. 

It may take some time for your plants to adjust to drought conditions. Be patient and continue caring for them; they will eventually recover.

Get Gardening

So there you have it! These are just a few tips on how to keep your garden alive during a drought.

With a little planning and effort, you can help your plants survive even in the driest conditions.

And who knows, you might even learn a thing or two about gardening along the way.

So get out there and start gardening!

The drought may be tough, but your garden doesn’t have to be.

Thanks for reading!

  • Luke Rooks

    Luke is a passionate environmental advocate based in upstate New York. When he's not sharing tips on sustainability and wellness, you can find him hiking with his dog, Max.

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