A lush green garden can be difficult to maintain when water is scarce. With many parts of Australia feeling the effects of devastating droughts, many gardeners are looking for ways to make their garden drought friendly to keep their plants happy and healthy under the driest of conditions. We’ve put together this list of practical ways you can help your garden thrive even in the driest summer.
1. FILL YOUR GARDEN WITH DROUGHT-PROOF PLANTS
In a drought-prone country like Australia, it’s always a good idea to stock your garden full of plants that can withstand harsh climates. The good news is that many plants thrive in these conditions:
- Aside from our native plants, those indigenous to similar climates like California and the Mediterranean, are also well-equipped to withstand a dry Australian summer.
- Vibrant flowers like lavender and the classic Australian native bougainvillea not only withstand harsh conditions but also, add a beautiful “pop” of colour to your garden!
- Succulents are renowned for being resilient and drought-resistant. They’re also easy to grow and hard to kill, so why wouldn’t you want some in your garden? The ever-popular aloe vera or natives like pigface love heat and dry conditions and should be a staple of any drought-proof garden.
Some varieties of herbs and fruits also love dry weather. Thyme, rosemary and sage grow well in heat and sunlight. Native fruits like the Quandong is the perfect crop to grow if your usual fruit trees aren’t coping with the drier conditions. Not to mention they taste delicious too!
These drought-resistant plants will keep your garden looking beautiful and healthy no matter the weather.
2. STAY ON TOP OF THOSE PESKY WEEDS!
Rain or shine, weeds are the bane of any gardener’s existence. In times of drought, it’s all the more important to keep on top of any weeds that decide to make themselves at home in your garden.
Weeds rely on nutrients and moisture in the soil to survive. When too many weeds are absorbing all of that good stuff in your soil, they are stealing nutrients that could be feeding your other plants.
Regularly removing weeds is the best way to make sure your garden stays well-fed, as well as to allow other plants to have enough space to grow larger.
3. KEEP YOUR SOIL HEALTHY WITH MULCH AND COMPOST
All living things need nutrients and water to survive, and plants are no exception. A drought friendly garden will have both nutrient-rich and moist soils. These are key to keeping your plants happy. Give your soil the best chance at staying healthy by mulching your garden regularly. Mulch adds an extra layer of protection from the harsh sun – this layer significantly reduces the amount of water that is evaporated from your soil, ensuring it stays moist and cool. By keeping moisture in the soil, you reduce the need to water by up to 70%.
An easy and effective way to keep your plants healthy is by mulching with nutrient-rich organic compost. Add a thick layer of kitchen scraps, like fruit and vegetable peel, or garden waste like lawn clippings to your soil regularly. As the compost breaks down, it will add nitrogen and carbon to your soil, creating an environment where your plants can thrive.
Follow this guide and you’ll have a happy, thriving garden without using too much water. If you are an avid gardener and want to learn more about cultivating plants, we think you’d love our Introduction to Horticulture course. You’ll learn all about maintaining a healthy garden, identifying plants, and managing water use effectively. Reach out to our friendly, knowledgeable team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more!