Are your garden plans all wet? If you’re facing a seasonal drought or a longer-lasting dry spell, you can manage the moisture that you do have by adding new landscaping elements to your garden. Making your garden drought-resistant has an added bonus as well: the same landscaping structures that help you manage in low water conditions also prepare your yard for times when rainfall is high.
Choose Your Plants Wisely
When you talk about drought-resistant gardens, you probably think about your plants. After all, the reason we use a lot of water in our gardens is to keep our grass and plants alive. Xeriscaping is a landscaping strategy that features plants that resist drought. These plants may be tougher native plants or plants that love to live in areas that have less water. For example, tropical plants like hibiscus adore water, as do many annuals and lawn grasses. Instead of these water hogging plants, xeriscaped yards feature tough plants that live in dry environments and may have small, thick, or waxy leaves that reduce moisture loss.
Slow Down Your Water
When you want to slow down traffic, you build speed bumps. When you want to slow down water, you do the opposite. Digging low trenches called swales along the contours are your garden allows you to slow down water and sink it into the soil for a sunny day. Add plants to the downhill side of the swale, and any moisture that’s in the soil will be directed to those plants.
Pool Your Water
Gotcha! When you’re gardening in a dry time, you want to do your best to capture water. This can happen in a few different ways. You may use natural hollows in your yard or create hollows where water can pool. Even if water pools underground, these hollows will likely contain more moisture than the areas around them. Here, you can place those plants that need the most moisture. Gutters help you take control of rain water so you can make good use of the natural water source. If you have gutters that allow you to redirect your water to a rain garden, you can also use this water to create water features or wetter areas in your garden beds.
Make a Sponge
When you’re designing and maintaining your garden beds, you can use spongy materials to ensure that your garden plants have enough water. As you create new beds or transplant larger perennials, add old, soft pieces of wood in a layer before you plant. Wood forms a lovely sponge. These hugelkultur beds will gradually decompose and will maintain soil moisture levels even when the rest of the ground is dry.
If you have established beds, remember to add a layer of mulch as well. Leaves that you remove from your gutters or lawns can go into your garden beds, where they will protect your plants, build new soil, and maintain soil moisture levels.
Are you looking at your options for gutter installation? Talk with Harry Helmet. We’ll help you tame your garden maintenance and help you manage water in your landscape. Contact us today for information about our gutter guard and heating products.