The issue of irrigation is one of the crucial significance for the wellbeing of your garden. However, what if the year of the drought arrives and you find that your standard irrigation tools aren’t sufficient. Due to the fact that this might not be the standard state of the climate in your region, it’s highly unlikely that this is something that you’ll prepare for ahead of time. This is why it’s important to have it all covered, just in case and have a pre-made plan that you can just put into notion helps immensely. With that in mind, here are several tips on how to landscape during a drought.
1. Make priorities
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that you might not be able to save your entire garden. Therefore, you need to set your priorities straight and focus on trees, shrubbery, and hedges. Think about it, losing your lawn and your seasonal plants may sound bad, yet, it’s nowhere nearly as bad as losing a tree. We’re not just talking about losing a backyard asset that took you years, even decades to grow, but the effort around removing is too much of a hassle, especially when taken into consideration that this is an avoidable hassle, to begin with.
One of the things you can do during the harshest of conditions is to completely ignore your lawn. Sure, this might not seem like an intuitive course of action, yet, when prioritizing, it’s important for you to keep in mind the worst case scenario. Think about it, what are the consequences of losing a lawn? Now, what are the consequences of losing a backyard oak? This should be enough to give you all the answers that you need.
2. Mulching to save the day
The next thing worth considering is the idea of mulching as something that could potentially save your garden. First of all, it has a particular way of keeping the ground moist, as well as supplying the soil with nutrients over the prolonged period of time. Namely, there are so many mulching materials for you to consider, starting from wood and bark, all the way to the grass, hay, and straw. All of these materials are natural and degradable, which means that they benefit your soil in more than several ways. Other than that, you can also use leaf mold and compost, both of which are known to work, even if they aren’t as aesthetic.
Another great idea for this particular scenario is for you to try out composting. The reason why this is so efficient is due to the fact that most compost has a sponge-like nature that helps absorb the water much better. This means that the same quantity of water might stay in the soil for a longer period of time, thus providing the plants above with much better conditions. One of the greatest advantages of composting is the fact that once you get used to it, it becomes completely inexpensive.
4. Prepare for an intervention
In the first section, we talked about a scenario where you can’t save absolutely everything. Well, this happens for two reasons. First, you can’t afford to apply all the necessary solutions on this list (there’s more to fighting a drought than just watering your soil) and second, you don’t have an adequate equipment. For the scenario of a drought, you might need to look for some advanced garden accessories. Even if you don’t use them each year, keep in mind that with a global warming in motion, you might need these tools and methods more and more with each passing year.
5. Schedule matters
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that you don’t really have to spend more water in your garden. Instead, it’s far more important that you tune up your irrigation by making a smarter irrigation plan. For instance, watering in the early morning or late night is more efficient due to the fact that it provides you with an opportunity for a water to seep down into the soil. In this way, you’ll be able to achieve a much greater irrigation efficiency even with a much smaller water consumption. All in all, being smart about these things is all that matters.
6. Go for native plants
Even if the local climate is a bit uncommon, chances are that the deviation isn’t that great from what the season average in that region is. Therefore, you need to understand that going for native plants might be a much better solution. Sure, these plants might also need additional irrigation, composting and mulching (after all, it’s still a drought), yet, they won’t need it nearly as much as they would under normal circumstances. This is due to the fact that these plants are adjusted to these conditions to a much greater degree than their relatives from far away. Of course, those looking to make their garden more exotic might have a problem with this method, yet, it’s the most effective way to make your garden more resilient against a drought, on its own.
7. Multiple shorter cycles of irrigation
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that watering your backyard several times with a smaller amount of water might be more efficient than doing so once or twice per day. This is an alternative to watering early in the morning or late at night, seeing as how excessive watering in midday during the drought might end up making more harm than it does good. Overwatering is a bad trend in general, however, this is a common mistake that a lot of people make.
Landscaping during a drought is much harder than regular landscaping. Seeing as how this is the field in which continuity is of the utmost importance, a single bad year can ruin years (sometimes even decades) of your hard work. For this reason alone, you need to be prepared for every eventuality, as well as try to get the most out of a bad situation.
Mia Johnson is a freelance writer with a ten-year long career in journalism. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and lifestyle. A native to Melbourne, she now lives in Sidney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.