Gardening is a rewarding and enjoyable hobby, but it can be a challenge during a drought. Water is extremely important for plants, but during a drought, there is less water available, and watering restrictions may be in place. However, there are steps that can be taken to care for your garden during a drought.
1. Water Smarter
The first thing to consider during a drought is how to water your garden effectively and efficiently. The best time to water your plants is early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures and evaporation rates are lower. If you can, water your plants by hand close to the plant’s base using a watering can, this helps water get to the roots, where it’s needed and reduces wasted water.
You can also consider installing a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses. These devices deliver water directly to the roots, reducing waste and increasing efficiency. Moreover, it is important not to overwater and waste water.
2. Choose the Right Plants
It is important to choose drought-tolerant plants for your garden. These plants require less watering than other plants, and they can withstand periods of drought without suffering too much. Examples of drought-tolerant plants are:
• Succulent plants like cacti
Having a garden with a mix of drought-tolerant plants can reduce the amount of water needed to keep it healthy, therefore, a good consideration when planning plantations for future gardens.
Mulching is a effective technique to retain soil moisture, suppress weed growth and add nutrients to the soil. A layer of mulch on top of the soil can help keep the roots cool and reduce water loss through evaporation. Mulch can be made from a variety of materials, including compost, wood chips, and grass clippings. It is best to apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around plants, particularly those that require more water.
4. Plant companion crops
Planting companion crops, also called cover crops, helps to keep the soil moist and free from weeds. Examples of some companion crops are:
• Legumes, which fix nitrogen in the soil.
• clover, a cover crop that has tap roots to reach deeper soil layers.
• Buckwheat, a quick-growing cover crop that adds organic matter to the soil.
Companion crops have many benefits. They help to conserve moisture, reduce the need for watering, add nutrients to the soil, and prevent soil erosion.
In conclusion, caring for a garden during a drought takes effort and attention but it’s not an impossible task. By applying these important tips to your garden, you can keep it healthy and thriving even through difficult times, while saving water as well.