How to Garden in a Drought

Keeping your garden fresh and green when there is much less rain that normal – or in extreme cases, a drought – is almost impossible. There are some things you can do though in an attempt to keep your garden alive. This article focuses on water and mulching.

When to Water, How to Water

Consider creating a reservoir for the run-off water from your gutters. For a vegetable garden, If you are collecting water from the roof, be aware of what is on it (think asbestos, tar, bird droppings and so on). The water that comes off your roof may make the veggies in your vegetable garden unsafe to consume.

Collecting rainwater is your best option. Find creative ways to save it. For example, when it is raining, keep out wide, broad buckets outside to collect the precious drops.

Choosing when to water is very important. The early evening or the morning will have minimal water evaporation from the sun.

You can stick tubes near the roots of your plants in the ground, and water the plant directly via the tube. Less water is wasted and the plant absorbs more of the water as it is more direct. The tube can be around the size of a coke can to a 2L bottle.


Mulching is a technique that you can use the help water hungry plants. An interesting side note – when trees lose their leaves, they are doing so to retain some energy, and also to preserve water. Leaves keep the moisture in the ground and also keeps other plants (that may compete for water) from growing (On this note – Regularly check that your garden is free of weeds as these will be stealing water that is valuable!).

You can create mulches by collecting leaves fallen in the winter months. Keep cuttings from your lawn when trimming it, and put this at the base of your plants, along with the leaves.

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