There are several different ways to conserve water. This is especially useful when the city or town decides you can only water at a certain time for a certain amount of minutes. You can totally neglect your yard and let it die. However, don’t do that. While others may have to resort to a higher water bill or a dying yard, your yard can still be beautiful. Two of them are simple to do and will lighten up your work all through the summer.
Plant Drought Resistant Plants
One of the first things to consider when picking out flowers for your garden is to choose ones that will survive drought conditions. There are many different flowers to choose from that will provide you with color and a feeling of coolness. If you want a flower that climbs along a trellis or fence, morning glories (Ipomoea spp) are wonderful. They may grow so thick that they will provide a dense screen. They bloom in many different colors such as white, pink, red, blue or purple. Morning glories are not only drought resistant, but they bloom in the heat of summer from July until October. They grow in full sun.
Another drought resistant plant is marigolds. Marigolds come in different sizes and they are easy to grow. Most marigolds bloom from July through October. The flowers are orange, yellow or bronze. The plants grow well in full sun.
If you want something a little different, yuccas make a good choice. They do have sharp points at the end of their leaves, but they survive with little water. In my area, you will find yucca’s growing in pasture lands. Yucca plants have been growing for centuries and each part of the plant had a use or purpose to the people that lived on the land. The American Indians used the leaves to make cord, cloth or baskets. They ate the flowers for food. They ate them raw or boil them with other vegetables. The seeds were ground until they became a powder. From this powder, they could make bread or they could make it into a porridge-like mush. Today we still use the yucca to make soap and skin cream.
People use mulches through out the garden for a number of reasons. They deter weeds from growing, meaning less work for you. Mulch also keeps the ground cooler for the roots and it helps the soil to retain moisture. You can use several different things as mulch, such as hay, straw, grass clippings, and leaves. The nice thing about using these types of mulches is that they decompose into the ground. This helps the soil and adds nutrients for better ground. The worms like to live in mulched soil and when you find earthworms in the ground, it usually means enriched soil. When using mulch, place a two to four-inch layer around the plants or throughout the entire garden.
If you don’t want to bother with natural compost, there are other materials to use. There is plastic landscaping fabric that works. The draw back with using this is if you have plants already growing in an area, you will either have to dig the plants up, cut holes in the fabric to fit over the plants, or cut and layer the fabric around the plants. A better alternative is newspapers or cardboard. Use at least 7 pages of newspaper for a nice thick layer. If you use cardboard, remove all the plastic and staples and layer it around the plants. Overlap the newspaper or cardboard by 5 inches. To keep it from blowing away, water it down and then place rocks, soil or compost over the top.