5 Ways to Help the Garden Survive Droughts

Drought tolerant Purple Coneflower
It's June and already we're suffering drought conditions. The weather around us is more like late July and August than June with temperatures ten degrees higher than normal and no rain. We are dry as a bone. Last night I watched as a huge rain cloud dissipated into nothing before it made it to our garden on the weather radar. My garden is suffering but here are some ideas I'm trying to deal with the drought.

  1. Plant native plants - You've probably heard this one before but native plants are better adapted to the local area weather conditions and are better prepared for the extreme weather conditions that may emerge.
  2. Survival of the fittest! Observe what plants thrive during extreme drought conditions and plant more of these kinds of plants in your garden while resisting the urge to plant more of the drought sensitive plants.
  3. Prioritize plantings and irrigate - You may not be able to water everything so select the drought sensitive plants from your garden and make sure you irrigate them on a regular basis. My priority is the vegetable garden right now which I've set up with a series of soaker hoses to bring moisture to the base of each plant.
  4. Mulch and compost, compost and mulch. - Mulch is a cure all for so many things. Mulching the garden keeps the soil moisture from evaporating too quickly and allows the plants to have more time to absorb water. Adding compost to the soil improves soil structure and thus water retention.
  5. Weed Weeds! Weeds take valuable moisture from your garden plants. They are aggressive and in most cases will out grow most perennials and annuals you choose to plant. By routine weeding you eliminate these water hogs and preserve more moisture in the soil for the plants you like!
Number 2 is something I'm keeping a close eye on this year. Drought is frustrating, can't be prevented, but can be tolerated!

How do you help your garden through drought conditions?

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