Water-Friendly Gardening: Reclaiming Landscape After Drought
There's no doubt about prolonged droughts; they can leave your landscape looking uncommonly dry and barren. The good news is with a few simple tips, you can revive your landscape. Here's how.
1. Prep the Soil
Good soil is the foundation for good plant growth. In drought-prone areas, that means improving your native soil by incorporating some high-quality compost or garden soil, like Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Garden Soil. This 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. Adding garden soil or high-quality compost will also help improve the soil's structure and water-and nutrient-holding abilities.
2. Select the Right Plants
It seems almost intuitive. Trees and shrubs have a better chance of thriving if they're planted in their ideal growing location. Yet many homeowners select the wrong plants for their growing conditions. Before you pick a plant, ask the experts at your local garden center, nursery, or cooperative extension service for suggestions about which plants will work well in your region.
3. Plant Correctly
Before planting a tree or shrub, dig a hole at least twice as wide as, and no deeper than, the plant's root ball. A wide planting hole will help encourage vigorous root growth, which will help the plant better endure the stress of future drought conditions.
4. Feed Well
A healthy, nourished plant is more suited to withstand future drought conditions. Once your plants are no longer suffering from water stress, feed them. With Miracle-Gro® LiquaFeed® you can feed and water at the same time. Or, feed trees and shrubs with a continuous release plant food, like Miracle-Gro® Shake 'n Feed® Flowering Trees & Shrubs or Miracle-Gro® Tree & Shrub Fertilizer Spikes, which will provide plants with nutrients slowly over an extended period of time.
There's no better way to help retain precious moisture in the soil than with mulch. Spreading a 3-inch layer of high-quality mulch, like Scotts® Nature Scapes® Color Enhanced Mulch, around your trees and shrubs helps reduce water evaporation, keep roots cooler, prevent weeds which rob plants of water and nutrients, by blocking growth and access to sunlight, and improves a plant's ability to withstand drought conditions.
6. Water Smartly
Watering is crucial, especially right after planting. Regular watering helps encourage rapid root development. Newly planted trees benefit from frequent watering. For the first 1-2 months after planting, water daily. As the roots become established, gradually reduce the watering frequency until you are only watering deeply once a week.