How to you prepare/deal with drought?

Maude_IA(z5-SE Iowa)July 3, 2006

What measures do you take to help your garden through the dry times?

I cultivate, then mulch with grass clippings. I'm lucky enough to have a neighbor who would buy the lawn bags and send his clippings to the city pile if I didn't take them. Some becomes mulch, and some becomes compost.

I plant water lovers like tomatoes in a shallow depression in the soil so any water I add soaks in around them instead of spreading.

I'm interested in what else other gardeners are doing to prepare for drought, and to help their plants survive it.

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Mulch, Mulch, Mulch and then more Mulch...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 6:19PM
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iowgardenangel(zn5 IA)

hi maude, I also make the indents around and fill with water and then mulch... we did have 2 good rains today , ive been catchin that to use to water in between rains.I also like to recycle, from grass clippings for mulch, the rain ,water and horse manure for fertilizer. i used that in with my far end soil that was clay to make it better and not so packed, worked up good.water works in better.i also have taken old milk jugs poked small hole and let new plants get watered slowley has worked well now that its gotten hot and im getting more discounted plants . i use on fruit trees too.. Dessa

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 11:34PM
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marilou(z4 IA)

What a great question! One of my neighbors is dumping dish water on her garden. I catch rainwater and use it when things look wilty or aren't quite established, but the rainbarrels are almost depleted so I'll have to switch over to something else. Bath water maybe?

As preparation, there are several things I do. With annuals (especially in containers), I add moisture-retention water crystals at planting time and that seems to help a lot. I add organic stuff to the soil when I plant, such as compost and composted manure, to give plants a boost so they'll be more healthy and able to withstand drought, pests, etc.

In late June I added massive amounts of shredded leaves as mulch (massive as in, W-A-A-Y more) around all the plants I don't want to lose. The leaves have disappeared into the ground so quickly I've had to replenish some already!

One other thing I've done is to water infrequently, but deeply. But in this dry weather, it's still not enough. I'm thinking about putting anti-transpirant on the rhodies because they are really suffering. Has anyone done that in the summer or used it on other plants?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 10:12PM
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