Coping With Drought Stress In Your Garden
This year we are not only experiencing record breaking heat but drought as well, placing the garden under a tremendous amount of drought stress. In our area we are double digits below normal amount of rainfall for the year. The early warm weather forced plants to leaf out and bloom several weeks early and now they are suffering because a lack of rain.
Most all the lawns are dormant and although they may not look so lush, unless you like tan of course, should survive and revitalize when cool temperatures return and we start getting some rain. Watering now is not advised because with drought stress On The Garden it is better for the lawn to remain dormant than to try to struggle with inadequate moisture and high temperatures.
Trees Shrubs And Newly Planted Perennials
This spring I planted a couple of dozen new perennials in the front flower beds and if they are not well watered twice a week they start showing the stress and start to droop. While they have been in the ground for several months they are not fully established so do not have deep root systems yet.
Your trees and shrubs need moisture too and I suggest a deep soaking at least once every 10 days. Lay soaker hose under the tree canopy a couple feet from the trunk and let it run for an hour and a half to allow the water to soak down. For shrubs saturate the root zone a quick spray won’t do let the hose dribble until the area is wet. A lot of areas are under water restriction so be mindful of that.
I Had A Plan But She Put The Kibosh On
Remember unless you are lucky enough to have a well, watering will come with a price. I have an irrigation system but stopped using it about six weeks ago. The wife opened the water bill and it was a tad over $300.00 and she said no more irrigation! Ever the resourceful fellow I offered a compromise in that if she would allow me to irrigate the lawn I would cut back to one shower every 3 weeks. Her answer NO!! So hand watering the vegetables and flower beds it is.
A Sustainable Living Moment
Rain barrels are a great way to help cope with times of little or no rain.
Years ago there was no fancy irrigation systems or going to the water spigot and hooking up the hose. You either went to the well or cistern drew up a bucket of water and watered the garden. While today most folks don’t have wells or cisterns they can set up a rain barrel system to collect water. Besides the advantage of free water you are actually helping avoid excess water running into the storm sewer systems and that helps to elevate flooding.
Now that’s a win win you are saving money and going green at the same time.