In the midst of a hot and dry summer, keeping flowers and grass alive and healthy can feel like more trouble than it’s worth. Water bills soar, time spent laboring in the garden goes up, and there’s no guarantee that your plants will even end up surviving the harsh conditions. In climates where drought is common, the idea of a “drought resistant” landscape has bloomed. Some landscapers have gone as far as taking out traditional lawns altogether and replacing them with grass-free lawns. In southwest Virginia, this isn’t typically necessary, but incorporating some drought resistant elements into your gardening plan can be a simple and relatively inexpensive way to combat unpredictable weather patterns while also conserving water and energy. Here are some ways you can make your lawn more durable and hardy this coming season:
Enhance Your Soil
In the hottest months of summer, soil can begin cracking and drying under the sun. This decreases the grounds ability to retain moisture and puts your plants at risk of dehydration. Laying down compost, mulch, or shredded leaves create a natural remedy. These organic elements are filled with plant-healthy nutrients and microbes, and they add long-lasting moisture to the ground. A yearly or biyearly application of these soil helpers will support garden durability and drought-resistance.
Choose Hardy Plants
Grasses and flowers are beautiful to look at, but they also require a lot of watering and upkeep. Luckily, there are drought-resistant alternatives to most kinds of plants. For instance, traditional grass can be replaced by ornamental grasses such as thyme, catmint, and clover. These grasses are beautiful, fragrant, tough against weeds, and they are very low-maintenance. Water-hogging flowers can be replaced with plants like lavender, butterfly bush, and various kinds of succulents. Though they are not exactly typical garden decorations, some carefully planted succulents or cacti can add depth, uniqueness, and resilience to your landscape.
Change Your Emphasis
You might be unwilling to give up traditional grasses and flowers completely, and that’s totally okay. For an easy compromise, consider changing around the emphasis of your landscape. Add roses or iris’ as colorful accents amidst succulents and herbs. Plant grass scarcely in strips around walkways or patios. Create more room for some interesting hardscape designs, such as statues, stone or gravel paths, and retaining walls. This will preserve the lushness of your garden without raising your water bill through the roof.
When you do use irrigation, do so conservatively. Certain irrigation heads are able to conserve more water than others. For instance, consider getting drip heads installed in your flower beds. These feed water directly to the roots of plants for ultimate efficiency and water saving. At Roanoke Landscapes, we can help you irrigate your lawn in a responsible and cost-effective way. We can also provide you with drought-resistant landscaping plans that stay true to your goals and visions. A beautiful garden and yard is important, but there’s no reason it has to break the bank.
Check back soon for more summer landscaping tips and ideas!