Letting Nature Water The Garden

By Mary Ellen Ellis | July 24, 2021
Image by schulzie
by Mary Ellen Ellis
July 24, 2021

I’ve always been a natural sort of gardener. I would rather have some pests around than use chemical pesticides. I prefer to pull weeds by hand. And, I can be a little lazy about watering. Sometimes it’s necessary, but I design my garden for minimal watering. 

No, I Don’t Water the Grass

I live in a suburban neighborhood where most homes have nice, green lawns all summer. Fortunately it’s an older neighborhood with a relaxed HOA and no strict rules about yards and gardens. 

I don’t water the grass, ever. And guess what? It comes back year after year. Yes, it can get a little brown and crispy in the middle of summer, but that’s normal. The grass goes dormant and grows again in cooler weather. Depending on the kind of summer we have, it may even stay great in the depths of July. 

Watering Perennial Beds as Needed

When it comes to my flower beds, watering is necessary at times. But even for these plants, I only water minimally. I can mostly get away with this because I plant native species as much as possible. 

This means my beds have Joe-pye weed, black-eyed Susan, spider wort, purple coneflower, columbine, and other plants that don’t necessarily die if it doesn’t rain for a week. If it becomes necessary to water them, I use the hose. 

Watering Annuals

The one area of the garden that I can’t avoid watering nearly every day is the container garden of annuals. I love the profusion of exotic flowers and the way they look spilling out of pots on my back patio. 

Of course, these impatiens, petunias, coleus, and geraniums dry out rapidly in their pots. Many are tropical and thrive on moisture. So, I do have to water these, sometimes twice a day. It’s an easy job, though, and I simply use a watering can. 

By relying mostly on nature and native plants, I may be the gardener who spends the least amount of time on the chore of watering. And that’s a good thing because I use all that extra time to pull out weeds by hand.

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