Helpful and Easy Gardening tips for drought climates.
Full- sun flowers with good color and easy care
Tips for easy care gardening and drought tolerant plants
My father always had a garden when I was growing up. He grew things well but sometimes he would tell me that you just can't grow certain things in certain climates. He was right. When we moved to Oklahoma, I found this to be true. I learned what a drought was. I learned what water rationing meant. It has taken me 12 years but I believe I have finally found plants that do well with high heat, full sun, and little water. These are some tips that I have learned over the years.
1.Know your climate. Experiment with plants in your area. My area ,as stated above, is prone to droughts. Crepe myrtles, roses, moss roses, monkey grass, marigolds, calla lilies, cannas, and garzania plants all do well in full sun with very little water. Crepe Myrtles will bloom twice a year. The moss roses, marigolds, and garzania will bloom everyday. The calla lilies and monkey grass bloom once a year. The cannas bloom continuously all summer. Roses need extra work so I don't recommend them for the first-time gardener. If properly maintained they bloom continuously all summer long.
2. Find things that come back every year for less maintanance. This took me awhile to figure out but I discovered that the moss roses (portulaca) , the wandering jew, and even the gerber daisy will come back every year. After the frost, leave the dead plant until spring. When spring arrives,cut just the top part off and save the root. Even though, they are annuals, mine return year after year.The gerber daisy is more of a shade plant. If you have a shade spot in your yard it will do well. It likes the heat just not the sun.It comes in many colors and is one of my favorites. It also needs to be watered every day.
3. Water in the morning. It is always better to water in the morning. Watering at night sometimes causes disease in plants. If at all possible, get up before the heat of the day and water your plants.This is also easier on you as the tempurature is cooler in the early morning. I am usually out watering by 7:00 a.m. Also , if you have roses, water only the base. Water on the leaves promotes black spot. .
4. Be creative. Plant taller plants in the back and smaller plants in the front. It doesn't have to be perfect or in super straight order. I like the more controlled randomness. It looks more natural, as if the plants are supposed to be there. If you don't like something where it is or if it is not doing well, transplant it and try again.
5. Fertilize. I highly recommend Miracle-Gro. It comes in all forms. It comes in Shake-N-feed granules and in the traditional powder. The shake granules are more expensive but last longer.They last a couple months. They are shaken at the base of a plant and worked into the dirt. Always water immediately after placing in the soil. I usually use the powder because it is cheaper. I do this once every 2 weeks. It comes with a scoop that you mix with one gallon of water. It comes in different forms. I prefer the one for beautiful blooms. It also comes with a hose attatchment that mixes it as you water. There is also a liquid form that can be put in a hose attatchment. These different forms can be found at any Walmart. I prefer to wait for rain in the forecast. I feed my plants right before and allow the rain to work it in. After all, rain is the best thing for your plants.
6. Weed regularly. Weeding can be a pain but if you pick just a section of the yard and do that one day and then do another section another day it, doesn't become quite so overwhelming. I also recommend placing mulch or stone (I do both for variety) around your plants. I recommend planting all of your plants and then placing mulch or stone around them when you are done. I also recommend low, ground cover plants. This also cuts down on weeds. Your local Lowe's, Home Depot , or Walmart can offer a wide variety of different mulches or stones.
7.Trim. Deadhead your roses and other plants with scissors if you can. This will promote more growth. The cool thing about moss roses is they do this on their own. So if you don't like a lot of work stick to these types of flowers. Also, keep crepe myrtles and bushes trimmed for a cleaner look to your flowerbed. This also makes it easier to get into your beds to weed.
8. Ask questions. If you have a neighbor with beautiful flowers, ask them for recommendations for plants. Most people I have met with nice yards and gardens want to talk about them and will help you if you just ask.
9. Place large rocks or stepping stones in your flower beds. I like to place large rocks in my flower beds. I use them as stepping stones on rainy days. They are also very attractive. My husband found most of my rocks, so they cost me nothing. Stepping stones are more expensive but will allow for the same freedom in your beds.
10. Try not to spray certain pesticides. Check your labels. If your pesticide kills bees, your flowers will not do as well. Bees are good for pollination. Ladybugs, spiders, and praying mantis are good for keeping down unwanted insects. Your blooms will look better and your plants will be healthier if you can try to keep the good insects in your yard. I use pesticides in the dirt only for grubs and other insects that eat the roots.
These are my ten tips for healthy plants in a drought climate. These tips will help you have a beautiful backyard with easy care.