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5 Tips for a Drought-Tolerant Garden

 5 Tips for a Drought-Tolerant Garden


Droughts have plagued many US states throughout the years. Some severe, others less so. But even though we’ve seen a reduction in drought intensity across the country, these natural disasters are still frequent in many regions.


During scorching summer days when the sun beats down on us mercilessly and leaves the earth dry and cracked, you can own a garden that defies the odds and lives amid arid conditions - a drought-tolerant garden.


Are you ready to learn how to create a garden during water scarcity?


Let’s start.


What Is a Dorught-Tolerant Garden?

A drought-tolerant garden is an approach to landscaping that conserves water. We often refer to it as a xeriscape garden because it contains plants, shrubs, and trees that grow in regions with limited water resources.


Drought-tolerant gardens help homeowners and communities reduce water consumption and ensure vibrant gardens during water scarcity.


Benefits of Drought-Tolerant Gardens


Aside from the obvious - drought tolerance, there are many benefits of xeriscaping. Some include:


       Water conservation: Drought-tolerant gardens use less water, so homeowners can reduce water bills more easily.

       Low maintenance: These gardens don’t need much upkeep, as the plants are hardy and resilient.

       Biodiversity: Xeriscaping supports a range of native plant species and provides sustenance for wildlife like pollinators.

       Environmental Benefits: Drought-tolerant gardens reduce water use and promote a healthier ecosystem.


Of course, this isn’t a full list of advantages, but it covers the main points. In reality, you won’t grasp all the benefits until you’ve invested in a xeriscape garden.


The Difference Between Drought-Tolerant and Drought-Resistant


Many use drought-tolerant and drought-resistant interchangeably, but this is incorrect.


Drought-tolerant landscaping means it can withstand drought conditions, but may still need some water. Drought-tolerant plants are often more versatile and adaptable to varying water conditions.


On the other hand, drought-resistant plants are more self-sufficient. These plants can survive extended periods of drought with little supplemental water. Drought-resistant landscaping has adapted to arid climates and is highly resilient.


The 5 Best Tips for a Drought-Tolerant Garden


If you’re aiming to achieve a flourishing, eco-friendly garden, you’ll need to do some thorough research. To get you started, here are a few tips you can incorporate into your planning:


1.    Plant Drought-Tolerant Plants

You can’t have a drought-tolerant garden without drought-tolerant plants. Opt for species that have evolved to withstand water scarcity. Usually, these are native plants, since they’ve adapted to the local climate over the years.


But if the plants native to your area aren’t conducive to your aesthetic, here are some beautiful drought-tolerant plants to include in your garden:











       Licorice plant


2.    Use Compost in the Soil


Healthy soil is the foundation of a successful drought-tolerant garden. The best way to ensure your soil is good is by incorporating organic compost. This will enhance its water-retention capacity and make your plants more hardy.


Compost will improve the soil structure and provide essential nutrients to your plants. As an added perk, composing will mitigate other dangers of climate change, like heavy downpours. When you enrich the soil with compost, you promote water percolation (the movement of water through soil), which prevents puddles from forming beneath the surface and rotting plant roots.


3.    Use Water-Conserving Equipment


Planting drought-tolerant plants is not the end-all-be-all of a xeriscape garden. Look beyond and tackle the equipment, i.e. embrace water-efficient irrigation.


Let’s talk watering. You should never spray water into the air because the leaves will be the only part benefitting from it. Instead, install drip irrigation systems, speaker hoses, or rain barrels to distribute the water directly to the soil and roots. This way, you’ll reduce evaporation and can control and adjust watering schedules based on plant type and weather conditions.


4.    Include Artificial Foliage

While a drought-tolerant garden predominantly features living plants, they may prove difficult for some. In this case, introduce artificial foliage into the mix. Not only is this a practical choice for those lacking green thumbs, but it will also add to your garden’s aesthetic appeal.


Artificial topiary, for example, requires no water, pruning, or pest control. It adds texture, color, and visual interest to your outdoor space while reducing the need for living vegetation and contributing to a sustainable landscape. If you use it intentionally, artificial foliage will be valuable for any drought-tolerant garden.


5.    Delay Planting Projects 


Patience is a virtue when planning projects for a drought-tolerant garden. If you’re undertaking a garden or landscaping project, wait until after the dry spell passes. Newly established plants often demand a lot of water to kickstart their growth, which could set you back.


Plus, waiting allows you to gain a wealth of observational wisdom because you can assess which plants in your area have survived the water scarcity. Such real-world insights will help your plant selection process and steer you towards more resilient species.  

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