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Tips for Gardening During a Dry Season

September 28, 2016

Watering is a critical part of every garden, and when your area experiences a dry season, water is at a premium. Pennsylvania, like many other regions, often experiences insufficient rainfall that makes it difficult to maintain a garden. To combat dry seasons, our greenhouse experts have complied several tips to help you.

  • Plant at the right time- During the Fall, plant later than normal to minimize the use of supplemental water and to take advantage of seasonal rains.
  • Utilize mulch- Spreading a 3-4 inch layer of mulch on your soil can reduce watering needs by up to 50%. You can use natural mulches such as grass clippings, dried leaves, pine needles, straw, and shredded bark to save water.
  • Know your plants- Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower need consistent moisture while creeping zinnia and sea poppy are drought-tolerant.
  • Try enclosed spaces- Raised garden beds retain more water than traditional planting.
  • Water efficiently- Compared to overhead sprinklers, drip irrigation can reduce water usage by half. Make sure to water more deeply and less frequently. Watering at the correct times is also important; the best time to water is between 9pm and 6am.
  • Control weeds- Weeds drain water from your plants, make sure to remove them before watering.
  • Companion planting- Grouping crops together for mutual benefit helps to make the most out of your watering.
  • Collect rain water- If your state allows it, you can design a system to collect rain water for later use. Our greenhouse experts recommend using 55 gallon barrels at the down spouts of your house to collect the water. Make sure to use screens to keep bugs and debris out of the water. Click here to view state rain water collection regulations.

Utilizing these tips can help you to keep your garden thriving even during a dry spell in your region.