Most people who have garden shrubs in their yards suffer with one common problem: they don’t get any water. When it comes to plants and flowers, they are not like us, who can handle a little water, but they have to live. And they must stay alive. So when it comes to their health, they are at a disadvantage.
Luckily there is an easy way to improve their water use. Shrubs have two different types of foliage. The first is evergreen foliage, which means it has low moisture requirements. The other type is deciduous, meaning it has high moisture requirements. The shrubs in your garden should fall into this category, making them drought tolerant.
The way you tell whether your shrubs are drought tolerant or not, is to look at how much water they use. All shrubs will need water to grow, but some will need more than others. For example, evergreens may require as much as ten times more water per week than deciduous shrubs. So look at your garden and try to determine which group of shrubs are in need of more water.
When you do this, you will also have an idea of how much water your shrub requires. Remember that the amount of water depends on the conditions it lives in, such as the humidity level and amount of sunlight it gets. You should also know how often you water your shrub. It’s best if you water it once a week.
But even though you need to water your shrub, that doesn’t mean you have to water it deeply. You just need to get the soil wet, not soggy. So it’s important to use a mulch around the base of the shrub. A bark dust mix will work, as will half bark fertilizer. Just don’t use anything with lime or bleach in it.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the quality of the soil. Many gardeners assume that the quality of the soil determines how well their shrubs will grow. This isn’t true. All it really means is the quality of the water. In other words, you don’t want to water the sandy soil and then add gypsum to the soil and watch your shrub struggle.
The soil that retains moisture well will help prevent your plants from drying out. So let your soil sit for a few weeks after a rainfall before you plant anything. Don’t repot garden seeds until the soil is nearly dry. If you spot a plant too soon, it could cause the plant to abort, which is something no one wants. You can give your plants a water spray every week after the last rain in a short span of time. It’s best to water deeply, rather than lightly.
Most garden shrubs should be planted from seed. It’s a good idea to get them from a local nursery anyway, even if they aren’t in season. When you get home, take a spade or fork to the area and dig a hole that is as wide as the width of the shrub. Add about a half inch of gravel to the bottom of the hole. The holes should be deep enough to hold the roots of the plant, but not so deep that they break through. Water the plants and you’re ready to harvest.
Drought tolerant garden shrubs typically come with a self-watering system. This means that the plant’s water themselves. They won’t over-wet, they just slow down to a crawl and stop growing when the soil is dry. Just add water as needed and press the soil firmly around the sprouts. Be sure not to push the shrub into the drain as this will encourage the roots to go down the drain.
Some garden shrubs can grow in even dryer soil. One of these is the hibiscus. This shrub needs minimal amounts of water because it has thick leaves. Other types of garden shrubs are more drought tolerant and are worth checking out. Just be sure to check them out before planting.
Make sure you know what kind of conditions you want for your garden and then plan accordingly. If you need to cover a lot of ground then buy a large shrub. Don’t forget that you don’t always have to plant the biggest shrub in your garden. Sometimes smaller shrubs are better.