Having a garden in a state where drought conditions are prevalent is not as difficult as it sounds if you use some time tested tips. In most cases, people who have a successful drought tolerant garden succeed because they know how to optimize their water usage. There are many species of plants that are extremely drought resistant. Knowing what ones to choose, how to plant them and using specific watering techniques will allow a drought tolerant garden to produce as much or more than a garden that has ample rainfall.
Choose Drought Tolerant Plants
To create a drought tolerant garden you need plants that are resistant to extremely dry conditions. Tomatoes, several varieties of peppers, beans, cabbage and broccoli are just a few common garden plants that grow well in dry conditions. Choosing the right variety of vegetables and flowers will help to conserve water and allow for the maximum amount of produce. When purchasing seeds or seedlings, read the package instructions or talk to someone about what plants will work best in your particular region. Most packages state clearly how much water is needed for that particular type of plant to survive.
Water In the Early Mornings or Evenings
When you water your garden is also important. During the heat of the day, water evaporates quickly, reducing the amount that is available to the plants. Watering early in the morning or at dusk ensures that the water used will remain on the ground long enough to soak into the soil. Most people prefer to water in the early morning because the temperatures are cooler and the ground soaks up the excess moisture quickly. Sprinkler systems can be set up to go on and off whenever you need them to. Using an irrigation or sprinkler system that runs on a timer eliminates the need for you to be home when it is in operation.
Use Organic Compost and Other Materials to Support the Soil
Organic compost will help to hold moisture in extremely dry soil. If the dirt in the garden is extremely hard, turning the soil over and adding pea gravel or small rocks will help drain the water away from the surface and deep into the soil where it is readily available to the roots of the garden plants. It is important to learn about the type of soil in your garden before planting. Proper preparation will help you create a drought tolerant garden that will be successful despite the limitations.
Weed Your Garden Daily
Weed your garden on a daily basis. Weeds are major water drains and can deprive garden plants of the moisture they need to thrive and produce effectively. Removing weeds before they have a chance to take root helps keep the soil in tact and will not damage the root bed of other plants that are closest to it. Do not use herbicides if at all possible. Instead, watch for new weed growth and eliminate as soon as it becomes visible. Make sure when you pull a weed that you get the entire root, if possible. By taking the root, it is less likely that the plant will return.
Water Deeply and Less Often
Many people water their gardens but don't realize that the water isn't sufficiently reaching the root beds of the plants. Instead of watering for a few minutes every day, allow the water to run for a longer period of time two or three times a week. Letting the water run for several minutes allows the water to soak deeply into the ground. Water that is deep in the soil is more available to the roots of the plant and much less likely to evaporate during the hot, daytime hours.