WHAT TO DO DURING A DROUGHT
- Spray Trees & Shrubs With An Anti-Transpirant
If pruning, only remove dead material from trees and shrubs, anything more will encourage new growth. This takes energy that a drought stressed plant cannot afford. Instead, spray leaves with an anti-transpirant or anti-dessicant to help leaves retain what moisture they have.
- Water Early
Morning temperatures are cooler and the sun is not as intense as later in the day so there is less moisture loss due to evaporation.
Also, water sitting on foliage will have a chance to dry during the day minimizing the chance of fungal infection, especially during humid weather.
- Water Slowly & Deeply
Watering slowly will allow the moisture to penetrate more deeply into the root zone rather than running off the soil surface. Create depressions or water traps around larger plants to hold the water where you want it until it can saturate the soil. Remember to water trees at the drip line, not at the trunk base, as this is where the roots are most active. Drip irrigation bags are excellent for watering newly planted trees.
- Water the Soil, Not the Leaves
Plants take up water through their roots. Water landing on the foliage will be lost due to evaporation. The more water you direct to the soil, the less you will waste. The key is infrequent, but heavy watering rather than light, frequent waterings. This encourages deep root growth, which increases drought tolerance.
- Conserve Precious Water
Place a rain barrel under downspouts to collect rainwater. Wash the car on the lawn rather than on the driveway. Reuse ‘gray water’, such as bathtub or dishwater and rinse cycle water from your laundry, to water your garden. Replace leaky hoses and sprinklers and use washers to correct leaks at fittings.