Start with Good Soil
Protect with Mulch
Let the Plants be Your Water Guide
Don't Forget to Feed
Rainwater to the Rescue
While weather conditions vary from year to year, most regions will experience a period of hot, dry weather. If you have a well-established landscape and potential dry spells and water restrictions have you worried, there are several things you can do to help your garden before your plants start to become stressed.
Your plants want to dig their roots into a loose, nutrient-rich well-drained soil. Sandy soils let water and nutrients drain too quickly. Clay soils harden in droughts and don't absorb moisture well. Amend your soil with Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Garden Soil which is specially formulated to hold up to 25% more water than native soil, to help increase your soil's ability to absorb and hold water. Incorporating garden soil into your native soil also makes it easier for roots to penetrate further into the soil, and deeper, more expansive root systems are better able to seek out water and nutrients, for healthier, more drought-resistant plants.
After you've achieved a loose, nutrient-rich soil, top it off with a 3-inch layer of mulch, such as Scotts® Nature Scapes® Advanced. Mulch helps keep moisture from evaporating from the soil, helps moderate soil temperature, and helps prevent weeds, which compete with plants for water and nutrients, by blocking growth and access to sunlight. Apply a granular garden weed preventer like Miracle Gro® Garden Weed Preventer as an additional line of defense against greedy weeds.
It is important to properly feed plants leading up to hot, dry weather conditions because healthy, nourished plants can better withstand prolonged periods of heat and drought. However, plant food should never be applied to water-stressed plants. You can resume feeding once the plant is no longer under water stress. And when you use Miracle-Gro® LiquaFeed®, you can feed and water at the same time.
Learn some simple, affordable methods of rainwater harvesting, such as barrels and trenches, and you can stretch out Mother Nature's supply longer so your plants will be less taxed during dry spells. Read our article Harvesting Rainwater" to learn how to make the most of the rainfall you receive.