Water is the essence of life in the plant kingdom. Without it, your garden could never survive and luxuriate. Alas, when the scorching sun rays descend on the garden, plants lose quite a bit of moisture via evaporation. This is where drought-tolerant landscaping comes in.
Prolonged periods of droughts can wreak havoc on your beautiful natural sanctuary. The good news, though, is that there is no shortage of tactics and tools to combat these devastating effects. To make it happen, you will have to step up, conserve the water in your garden, and mind the choice of plants. Here is how to practice drought-tolerant landscaping for the garden that will stand up to unbearable summer heat.
How To Use Drought-Tolerant Landscaping: An Introduction
Divide and Conquer
To set the stage for a beautiful garden, what you need are the beds that provide blooms without hogging water. You could, for example, build a raised bed with distinct borders for flowers and vegetables. This will minimize the chances of water loss from an abrupt grade shift. What is more, you could explore the native plant options, which are usually a safe bet. Use high-need plants sparingly, as accents and pops of color. If you have plants with varying water needs, group the similar together. Also, populate the beds densely to prevent weeds from sprouting.
Furthermore, note that the water runoff usually occurs on hardscapes like sidewalks. To minimize the related water waste, you can plant a strip next to your walkways. During the hottest of months, on the other hand, try to reduce the amount of grass, as it demands a great deal of moisture. In its place, you can add drought-tolerant landscaping plants, which will prevent erosion. Likewise, you should group those plants that crave for more water together in containers in order to concentrate their needs.
While at it, introduce some more plants that do not require as much moisture to thrive. Lavender is easily one of the best options for drought-prone gardens. Shrubs and evergreens do the trick as well: except during the most severe drought, they can do with very little supplemental water. Another type of flora that tends to prosper in drought-afflicted gardens is dramatic foliage, like Japanese blood grass or forest grass. You might have to bid farewell to showy flowers that call for a lot of water to sustain their beauty.
Water Conservation and Recycling
Some of the most effective tools for battling drought cost a bit more. A drip-irrigation system, for instance, is worth your while. It decreases the amount of water waste by delivering water to the plants directly. To go an extra mile, consider investing in smart garden design features for capturing and recycling water. A large fountain is one of the popular solutions that also add visual bliss to the garden. An affordable alternative is a rain barrel, but it can store only so much. These are all great options for a more drought-tolerant landscaping plan.
I would encourage you to take into account some more serious upgrades, too. Relax, and do not fret because you do not have to break the bank. There are many programs to fund your endeavor. For example, maybe you have heard about the Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. In case you are wondering how it works, it is a locally-administered financing option for an array of green home improvements, and increasing your water conservation capacities is among them. All you need to do is to find PACE eligible contractors to get the job done properly.
Put your Green Fingers to Good Use
It goes without saying that you should utilize other landscaping tricks. So, use mulch as an essential ingredient for conserving moisture and keeping weeds at bay. You can always count on planted and mulched areas on the slope to soak in water. Also, you may have to throw soil amendments into the mix. A bit of natural compost helps, too. Stick to porous materials (such as gravel) for the space between the stones. Mortar is not a sound choice because it prevents the rain from settling in the soil.
Along the similar lines, take advantage of boulders to direct the water to the plants and use groundcovers for capturing the water that would otherwise be lost on the slopes. They are capable of cooling off key areas, mitigating the warming effect of pavers. Herbs in the league of thyme, when planted on the bottom a gravel path, also reduce water loss. Finally, when you water, do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon. That way, you lose less water to evaporation. These options provide for drought-tolerant landscaping as well.
Celebrate a Green Triumph
Droughts are harbingers of doom in gardens, but you are not powerless against their plight. Employ water-saving strategies and pick your plants carefully. Opt for those that are water-hardy. Reduce the amount of water that gets wasted across the garden and ponder integrating water recycling upgrades. It is definitely possible to get the best of both worlds: Infuse your garden with structure and color and enhance its drought tolerance at the same time. So, go ahead, put together a drought-resistant oasis, and embrace a green way of living at its finest. You will be much happier with your drought-tolerant landscaping in the end.
Author Bio: If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.