…and when I figure out how to do a raindance, I’ll let everyone know! Until then, we will probably be filtering in and out of drought and water restrictions, so we need a game plan. Here are my recommendations for protecting your landscape and helping your plants to thrive:
- Mulch! This is always important, but even more so now. Use a good quality shredded hardwood mulch and keep 2-3″ of it around your plants. This will hold down the weeds and hold the moisture in the soil.
- Hand water. Even in Phase II water restrictions, hand watering is permissible on any day. Keep your container plantings hand-watered, and give your landscape plants an extra drink between automatic irrigation days.
- Adjust irrigation system. If you have an automatic irrigation system and you can only water once a week, increase the time for each cycle so you get a really good soaking. You can conceivably add a second cycle during your alloted watering time, but I discourage that as it violates the idea of water conservation in the first place.
- Prioritize your plants. It’s okay to lose a few perennials in your garden; it’s not okay to lose a shade tree, mature shrubs or valuable plants like palms. When you have a chance to hand-water, pay more attention to these plants first.
I can’t guarantee that you won’t lose any plants during this incredible heat and stringent water restrictions, but if we’re smart (and we are), we can protect the investment we’ve made in our landscapes and minimize any damage that may occur. In a coming post, look for thoughts on the opportunities this drought is presenting us. Yes, there are some!
Photo by Mourner