Drought-Resistant Veggie Garden

Gardeners can make the best use of moisture during times of water shortage by using several different organic solutions. Healthy garden soil itself holds moisture with its organic plants and compost. The organic matter in the soil also attracts earthworms and microorganisms to feed nutrients to the plant and produces humus to hold it in place. Gardeners need to fill their raised garden beds with rich organic soil from the nursery or local soil company.

Evaporation from above the soil can be reduced by mulching to keep moisture where it is available to the plants. Spread mulch on top of the soil and around their veggie plants, in the form of wood chips, shredded leaves, or compost. Shade cloths and wind breaks also reduce evaporation by blocking the afternoon sun and preventing wind damage, depending on local conditions.

Gardeners can place rain barrels under a rain gutter to collect and channel the rain water to their veggie garden. Runoff can be reduced by using permeable materials for pathways, driveways, and patios, such as gravel, wood chips or pavers that allow the rain to soak into the ground, with runoff channels into planting beds.

Gardeners can install a drip irrigation system with a timer set to water in the mornings to get the right amount of water directly to the roots of the plants using the right emitters at the right time of day. Instead of planting in rows, gardeners can plant their veggies close together surrounded by soil walls to pool the moisture. This close planting of veggies leaves little room for weeds and maximizes the garden space, and gardeners can rotate the crops by planting starter veggies when they harvest to keep away pests and diseases. Self watering containers, buried water pots, garden towers, and spiral gardens create microclimates for water saving and abundant harvests in small areas. Finally, gardeners can choose the right vegetable variety to plant for their climate and location at the right time of year for the best water use.

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