After the drought of 2011, large numbers of Houstonians became very interested in the idea of drought resistant gardens.
Many people call us wanting to know what plants they should buy and how they can best design such a garden for themselves. While we do not discourage do-it-yourself gardening across the board, when it comes to something like planting a garden developed specifically for the purpose of withstanding several months with no rain, we strongly urge you to seek professional assistance.
To truly resistant a dry, hot summer, a garden needs more than drought resistant plants to weather a long, dry spell. To the greatest extent possible, it should minimize the dehydration so that what water does penetrate the soil remains in it longer. This allows plants which have already evolved a tolerance for dry weather to further extend their vitality by trapping water within easy access of root systems that can draw from them even during the hottest times in August.
This requires our team to amend the soil in certain ways and to also prepare many of the plants by soaking for a period of time in water prior to planting. Also, drought resistant gardens differ greatly from standard gardens in the amount of fertilizer they require. Gardens that are watered often may need a great deal of fertilizer to support the plants they grow. This is not the case with drought resistant plants. Most of them do far better in ground with minimal fertilizer because this limits growth, which in turn, limits consumption of precious reserves of stored water.
Drought resistant gardens do much better with soil that is mixed with mulch which acts as a moisture retention system underground. Irrigation is most effective when it occurs below this level of mulch so that deep water trapped underground can encourage the healthy growth of root systems. This is where you really need a professional Houston landscaping company to come in and design your garden irrigation system. Water must be distributed efficiently at cooler times of the day and kept away from stems and leaves as much as possible. This is simply not possible with a typical sprinkler system that is commonly purchased at a retail garden center.
Exterior Worlds approaches drought resistant garden design with a much more holistic picture in mind. The foundational elements of underground and/or drip system irrigation are planned out in accordance with conscious, systematic preparation of the soil. Plant selection is then made based on what works best for your Houston landscaping design. Any special treatments of plants, such as soaking for a period of time in water prior to planting, is done by our team so that you can be assured of starting out your new garden with healthy, vital plant growth that has the best chance of making through another hard summer.
There are other things we do when building a drought resistant garden in addition to these basic first steps. Sometimes we have to select species that are particularly suited to certain lighting conditions. This may have to be done in your yard based on how much sunlight versus shade it receives. Also, we may have to use shrubs and trees to place shade over the garden to prevent the hot sun from evaporating water from the soil around the roots.
Again, the results you receive when you hire professionals to do this for you is a drought resistant garden that is customized to your home architecture, other landscaping elements, and engineered on multiple levels to take the worst possible pounding from the sun and hot air without losing its curb appeal.