August 30, 2018

Gardening in a drought

Hot, dry summers can take a toll on the garden. Here are a few tips for keeping your plants healthy during a drought…

It has been another summer of extremes weather-wise, and in many areas, lack of rain causes challenges for gardeners. Here in Ohio, we have been blessed with plenty of rain this summer (I haven’t had to turn on the irrigation hoses since early July), but if you’re in an area plagued by drought, watering is one of the main garden tasks that must be done regularly to keep your plants alive and thriving.

The video below shares some helpful tips for keeping your garden healthy during a summer drought, but the best thing we’ve done for our garden by far has been setting up a tank to collect rainwater. With the garden far enough from the house to make watering with municipal water practically impossible, our rain tank is the only thing that has kept our garden alive during dry spells for the past 4 summers!

For our rainwater collection system, we raised an old 550-gallon cistern up on concrete blocks, and connected it to the drain spouts from our barn roof. The roof is large enough that the tank fills up completely pretty much anytime we have a good rain, and we are able to gravity-feed the water to soaker hoses in the garden – or into a watering can for hand-watering small seedlings.

If you have sporadic rainfall, not only can collecting rainwater save you a lot of money on water bills, but it can also make watering your garden easier if you are able to collect it in or close to your garden area – and it’s really the most sustainable way to water!  (Note: Check the zoning laws in your area – some places prohibit rainfall collection for some strange reason…)

Here are a few other tips for keeping your garden healthy and growing during a drought:

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About the author 

Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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