How Can I Maintain My Plants and Landscape During a Drought?

Posted on Nov 24, 2015 8:00:00 AM by Kerry Hardin

How Can I Maintain My Plants and Landscape During a Drought? | The Experienced Gardener

Well, well, well, look who finally got some rain! The wet weather has already begun to hit us here in Northern California, so that means the drought is over and everything is all better. Right???

Not a chance.

In case you missed it, this is actually our fourth-consecutive year of drought in California, and you don’t reverse all that damage after one soggy week or even one soggy month. It’s going to take time for our state to recover from the dry times; if we recover at all. With climate change becoming a very real factor in the world, it’s hard to predict what the future will bring. So it might be smart to get used to dealing with drought-level conditions.

Keeping the lawn alive during a drought

If you listen to Gov. Jerry Brown, he’d prefer you dump the lawn altogether and let it turn yellow. But if you’d like to keep it green, there are some ways to make it easier. Soil aeration is a great step to take regardless of conditions. This process involves an aerator, which pokes holes throughout the lawn. These holes will expose the grass’ roots, which can then receive nutrients (such as water) directly. And the good news is, you only need to aerate you lawn twice a year (normally when conditions are slightly moister).

Also, never skip out on the lawn boosters such as fertilizer or “lawn food,” which provide your soil with extra nutrients.

Kill weeds with extreme prejudice

Nobody likes weeds and nobody likes pulling them, but ignoring weeds is a huge mistake during a drought. Weeds are competing with your plants and grass for the limited resources available, and that competition isn’t healthy for your lawn. So eliminate it altogether by eliminating every weed you see. It’s also a good idea to invest in some weed killer for hard-to-reach places.

Treat every plant and tree, and consider swapping some out

In all honesty, if you have ample landscaping, it’s going to be very difficult to keep all of your plants, trees and grass healthy. You’ll likely have to prioritize certain areas when it comes to watering. However, with plants, there are plenty of varieties out there that require little water and minimal maintenance. Consider swapping some of your needier plants out for drought-resistant types such as cacti.

Additionally, take care to treat every plant and tree with pesticides or other anti-pest products. Plant life is weaker during a drought, which makes it very difficult to recover from disease; hence why prevention is so critical.


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Topics: Gardens