There are several strategies for dealing with drought:
- Soil with lots of organic matter holds more moisture, so if you have some extra compost, add it to your beds or apply a 1-2 cm layer around your plants, then mulch. Plan to add fallen tree leaves to your garden beds in the fall, and make a compost pile.
- Mulch your vegetable beds with straw. Spoiled (matted) straw works really well as it does not blow away easily. You can also mulch with leaves but they tend to blow away in open areas. Grass clippings can be used in a pinch, but use thin layers.
- Mulch your flower beds, trees and shrubs with 3-4 inches of natural wood mulch that contains less bark and more wood. Do not use bark nuggets as they don’t help to suppress weeds.
- Water in the early morning and apply the water to the soil around each plant. Vegetables don’t do well when deprived of water.
- Consider planting native wildflowers that survive well in the prairies. Visit the Edmonton Native Plant Group’s website for some ideas, http://edmontonnativeplantgroup.org
- Harvest rainwater with barrels that have a lid so that you can water quickly with a watering can or bucket. Make sure to direct the overflow away from your house foundation and into your landscape. Attempt to capture as much rain water as possible on your property before it runs off.