Plant a Drought Tolerant Garden
Beautiful gardens are designed to be enjoyed. However, sometimes it can feel like the maintenance, watering, pruning, and fertilizing, leaves little time to simply sit back and smell the flowers. One simple way to reduce the amount of maintenance is to choose a well-drained area in your property to plant a drought tolerant garden. These low maintenance gardens are ideal for cottages, large properties, and for gardeners who want to cut back on the amount of water they use in the summer.
What is a Drought Tolerant Garden?
Put simply, drought tolerance means that adding in specific plants that can survive, and sometimes even thrive, with less water. This doesn’t mean that the plants don’t require any water. However, they use the water more efficiently which means less watering for you.
The Secret is in the Roots
Plants get all of their nourishment including their water, through their roots. So, the healthier the root system is the more resilient the plants will be. To get healthy roots, you need to create a well-drained area with soil that is full of nutrients. This will help develop a root system that expands deep into the soil making it easier to find the nutrients the plants need to stay healthy.
So, if you’re wanting to create a drought tolerant garden, begin with the soil. This includes adding compost, peat moss , and manure to develop an area that is rich in nutrients. Products like Garden Gallery’s Organic Tri-Mix help create the ideal growing medium.
The next step is watering. Creating a drought tolerant garden includes changing how you water, so put away that sprinkler. Instead, water your plants well and right at the roots so that it seeps into the soil. This technique is the secret behind growing healthy deep roots allowing you to stretch the time between each watering.
Choose Plants that Prefer Drier Areas
If you want to water less, you need to choose plants that can naturally sustain lower levels of water. Thankfully, there is no shortage of choices. Ornamental grasses, succulents, and a selection of perennials and shrubs tend to do well in cottage gardens or the spots in your home which tend to be a bit drier.
Here are just a few varieties to choose from:
- Lavender: This drought tolerant perennial will immediately fill your garden with scent and colour. Known for its delicate purple blooms, this sun loving plant does well as a border in the centre of the garden.
- Thyme: Add some function to your full sun garden with this fragrant kitchen herb. Originally from the Mediterranean region, the flowers of this perennial are the perfect addition to your pollinator garden.
- Hosta: If you have a shaded area, then Hosta is the drought tolerant perennial for you. Known for its dramatic foliage, hosta does well in indirect light, and only needs a little bit of water to thrive.
- Sedum: Available as a ground cover or upright perennial, sedum will add texture and colour to your sun loving garden with its thick succulent looking leaves and bright coloured flowers.
- Hens and Chicks: Perfect for a rock garden or dry area on your property, this perennial succulent is a delightful addition. Plant in full sun and enjoy its distinct rosette shaped pattern and cluster of smaller rosettes that sprout around the mother plant.
- Yarrow: This hardy perennial is the perfect addition to a drought tolerant pollinator garden immediately filling a sunny spot with its bright, tightly packed flowers.
- Echinacea: This sun loving flower will immediately attract bees and butterflies with its bright daisy like petals. Its tall stocks make the perfect background perennial in your drought tolerant garden.
- Nine Bark: This fast growing shrub thrives in a well-drained sunny spot in your yard, making it the perfect addition for hedges or to even prevent erosions. The plant flowers in late spring with either pink or white blooms, which bear fruit in late summer and autumn which will often bring birds to your garden.
- Burning Bush: Known for its bright red foliage, this low maintenance shrub is a welcome addition to drought tolerant gardens. Available in both a dwarf variety, which grows approximately 5 feet, and a full size version which can reaching upwards to 15 feet.
- Honeysuckle: The heat tolerant honeysuckle will immediately draw wildlife to your yard with its sweet smelling blooms. Available as either a vine or shrub, this plant thrives with minimal watering and pruning.