Strategies To Fight Drought – 5 Ways To Drought Proof Your Landscape

By Mary Ellen Ellis | July 10, 2020
by Mary Ellen Ellis
July 10, 2020

Drought conditions can really take a toll on your garden. Whether it’s an unusual period of dry weather or repeated cycles of too little rain typical for your area, drought is a battle 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 to not only survive, but thrive.

How you may ask? Simple. Try out these 5 drought-tolerant landscaping tactics and never worry again when there’s no rain in the forecast.

  • Go native. One of the best strategies to fight drought is to use native species of plants. If your area is dry, these plants are already adapted to survive a drought. Choosing native plants also makes your life easier. You won’t have to work too hard to amend the soil or water 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 grasses, lavender, santolina, red bud, serviceberry, spice bush, witch hazel, black-eyed Susan, and baby’s breath are just some examples of plants that tolerate drought conditions.
  • Ditch 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 proof, replace some or all of your lawn with a drought-resistant mix of grasses or other plants. Use native groundcovers, shrubs and perennials in place of grass. Also, consider using rocks or gravel in some areas instead of lawn.
  • Conserve water and irrigate efficiently. If you don’t go totally native and have some thirsty plants, you can survive a drought with smart watering techniques. Install a drip irrigation system, which is one of the most efficient ways to water beds and plants. You can also save water with a rain barrel and use it to water plants later when conditions dry out.
  • Use mulch wisely. Mulch is a smart way to hold water in the soil. Without mulch around plants, the water they get from rain or from irrigation will quickly evaporate, especially in drought conditions. Gravel or pebbles are good choices for mulching around plants that are generally drought-tolerant. Bark mulch can hold too much moisture and cause rot in these kinds of plants.

It’s not difficult to make your garden more drought proof. You just need some drought-tolerant landscaping ideas in place. Whether you employ all or just some of these tactics, you’ll soon be well on the way to drought proof your landscape for future battles with Mother Nature.

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