With the recent lack of rain and extreme drought conditions, it might be necessary to take a look at what you can do to make gardening an easier chore for next year. Many plants are drought resistant (but not drought proof) which simply means that during a drought you may only need to water once every or every other week to keep your plants alive. This extra dry weather has most people’s grass turning brown, almost to the point of dead.
Watering during times of drought may be a little different than you may think. First of all, if it starts to rain, it will never be enough to make up for what moisture was missing. In fact, if rain is about to happen soon, or later the same day, it’s a good idea to turn on the sprinkler ahead of time to sort of break through the surface. If you wait on the rain, most of it will simply run off due to the dry, hard surface of the ground…better to dampen the soil before the rain.
Most of your perennial plants only need to be watered every 5 days or longer during a drought and never otherwise. However hydrangeas seem to need extra attention during those hot days, even after being established. Most people never water their trees but young ones could be an exception. Just remember to never fertilize anything (including your yard) when there is a drought going on.
When growing blooming plants or vegetables in containers, size really matters. The smaller the pot, the more often you will need to water, maybe even 2 times per day. But let’s separate the flower pots from the vegetable pots, as usually it’s ok to let the vegetables get dryer than the flowers. Many vegetables are drought tolerant such as tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, Swiss chard, beets, green onions and radishes and are all good for containers. It is not a good idea to grow sprawling vegetables such as squash, melons, cucumbers or pumpkins in containers as these need more space.