Suggestions for drought-conscious gardening | The Claremont COURIER

By Melinda Myers | Particular to the COURIER

Being a drought clever gardener doesn’t imply you must surrender the great thing about your backyard, but it surely does imply making some modifications in plant choice, backyard design and upkeep.

This can contain just a few changes, however the advantages will probably be lengthy lasting.


As you watch your water thirsty vegetation undergo and maybe die from warmth and water restrictions, begin fascinated about replacements. Present and future water restrictions make now time to rethink garden areas.

Think about changing grassy paths to surfaces like mulch, permeable pavers, and gravel,  which don’t require water however enable rainfall to infiltrate the soil under. Change conventional lawns with extra drought tolerant garden alternate options.

For those who nonetheless have a garden, mow it excessive. Tall grass types deeper, extra drought tolerant roots.


You too can fill voids or transition backyard beds to native extra drought tolerant vegetation. Many bloom, assist pollinators and have refined coloured foliage and type, including texture 12 months spherical. Choose these native to drier climates. Mediterranean vegetation and succulents are good choices.

Begin making these modifications when temps cool off in mid-fall by means of early winter. New vegetation have smaller root techniques and want extra water to turn out to be established, so planting when temperatures fall minimizes the water wanted.


As you add new vegetation or redesign gardens, place vegetation with comparable water wants collectively. This lets you regulate irrigation zones and make the most of hand watering so that you apply solely what every space wants.

Give your vegetation house to point out off their magnificence. Fewer vegetation in a backyard additionally means much less water wanted.


Earlier than inserting new vegetation, reap the benefits of the chance to enhance the soil. Mixing in compost and mulch will assist it retain water longer, and wholesome soil promotes extra resilient development. Mulching additionally helps suppress weeds and retains roots cooler throughout sizzling climate. Match the mulch to the vegetation you’re rising: succulents desire decomposed granite or gravel whereas others thrive with natural mulches like leaves or wooden chips.

Water early within the morning to scale back evaporation. Don’t rush to water vegetation wilting throughout noon. Wilting and curled leaves assist vegetation cut back water loss. Wait to see if vegetation revive within the night or early morning when temperatures are cooler and daylight much less intense. Then, if restrictions enable, water if wanted.

Restore and replace your irrigation system and put money into drip irrigation or soaker hoses that apply water on to the soil, decreasing evaporation.

Test along with your native municipality to see if you’ll be able to set up a “laundry to landscape” graywater system. These techniques use water from a washer to irrigate plantings.

Have your soil examined to search out out what sort and quantity of fertilizer your vegetation want. You’ll get monetary savings and promote more healthy, extra drought tolerant development with correct fertilization. Keep away from excessive nitrogen, quick launch fertilizers as they require extra water. Think about using a low nitrogen sluggish launch fertilizer that gives small quantities of vitamins over time, selling balanced, extra drought tolerant development.

Take away weeds as they seem. These undesirable vegetation compete along with your backyard for water and vitamins. Some can entice or harbor bugs and illness organisms that may assault your backyard.

As gardeners, it’s typically exhausting to withstand the lure of recent, extra colourful or distinctive varieties not suited to our rising circumstances. Passing on these water thirsty vegetation and choosing these suited to our local weather will end in a ravishing panorama that makes use of much less water and requires much less upkeep.

Melinda Myers is a gardening skilled, tv and radio host, writer, columnist, and speaker. Discover out extra at

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