How to Prevent Summertime Drought in Your Landscape
Summertime drought can be the bane of any homeowner as nothing will harm your landscaping and kill off your plants quicker than a combination of high temperatures and little to no moisture. This is precisely why some people prefer to landscape with drought resistant plants in order to avoid these issues. However, the truth is that you don’t have to tear out all of your landscaping and start over. By following these simple tips, you can help prevent summertime drought from wreaking havoc on your landscaping.
Remember the One-Inch Rule
Grass and most landscape plants generally require a minimum of one inch of rainfall per week in order to stay strong and healthy. This means that it’s a good idea to always measure the amount of precipitation, and if you’re not getting the required one inch a week, you’ll need to supplement with additional watering. However, depending on the type of plant and the temperature, your landscape could require much more than just one inch a week. Therefore, it is also essential that you continually monitor your plants and immediately water whenever they begin to look dry.
Water in the Early Morning
When it does become necessary to water your grass and other plants, it is always best to water during the early morning. The combination of cooler temperatures and less wind in the mornings means that the water will be able to soak more deeply into the ground without evaporating. As well, humidity levels are also highest during the mornings, which will help to further reduce water loss due to evaporation.
Watering in the morning can also help to prevent fungus and other diseases from potentially forming by ensuring the plants and ground can properly dry out. This makes the morning preferable to watering in the evening, which generally increases the risk of your plants developing diseases.
Less Frequent, Deeper Watering is Best
It is always important that you don’t water your plants too frequently. Although you may be tempted to water every day during summertime drought periods, this isn’t always necessary. In fact, watering your plants more infrequently for longer periods of time can actually provide benefits to help make your plants more resistant to drought. Deeper, more infrequent watering encourages the plant’s roots to penetrate deeper into the soil, whereas the roots tend to remain shallow with more frequent, more shallow watering. Generally speaking, the deeper a plant’s roots go, the more resistant it will be to drought.
Use Mulch to Help Slow Down Evaporation
Covering the soil around your plants with a decent layer of mulch is another trick that can help to stop many problems caused by drought. Mulch acts as a barrier that prevents the sun from shining directly on the soil, which thus helps to keep the soil from drying out by slowing down the rate of evaporation. Bark, wood chips, leaves and other natural mulches also provide another added benefit to your plants. Over time, these materials will eventually begin to break down and decay, which allows them to release beneficial nutrients into the soil and thus boost the health of your plants.
As you can see, preventing drought problems from affecting your landscaping isn’t all that difficult. As long as you’re diligent about watering and take a few simple steps to slow down evaporation and prevent water waste, you’ll be well on your way to having a beautiful lawn and garden despite the drought.