How Dry I (and My Garden) Am


Posted by ngs123 | Posted in Dealing with Drought, Generally Speaking | Posted on 20-06-2011

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garden in drought

It never fails. The rains of April raise our hopes that this year will be different! This year we will have ample rain, spaced just right! Days of steady rain, or even better, steady rain at night at just the right intervals to keep our hydrangeas hydrated and our lilies lush. And then sometime in mid-May the spigot is turned off and we look in vain for rain.

By the beginning of June we’re outside watering morning and evening as the ground turns to hardened dust and our poor perennials try to squeeze out a bloom with precious little resources. In the winter I swore I was going to install soaker hoses this year so that I wouldn’t have to stand outside fighting mosquitoes while watering, watering, watering. But here it is, June again, and did I buy soaker hoses? No.

southern garden in drought

How long has it been since we had a good soaking rain? Two weeks? Three? Saturday there was a nice “pop-up thundershower” as the weather folk like to call them. But then back to day after day of 90 degree temps and sun, sun, sun. It’s enough to make you want to take out the hydrangeas, who seem to be problem drinkers, and install some tee-totaling cactus. Well, almost.

hydrangeas - problem drinkers

Fortunately last fall I had a tree company dump a load of shredded mulch in my driveway, and spending day after day in the spring spreading it 3″ thick all over everything now helps keep the ground cool and retain any moisture that might stray into the area. It attracts good earth worms to aerate the soil as well. Other than that, how do we cope with the effect of blistering heat on our gardens day after day? How much time do you spend watering? Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your parched plants happy?