Lawn, Garden Secrets To Withstand Drought

Jun 22, 2021, 2:59 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Many people were immediately concerned about water restrictions and how their yard and garden could survive these searing temperatures during a relentless drought.

Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. 

“The most important thing to understand is we don’t want your yard to die either,” said Sheriden Hansen, an assistant professor of Horticulture at Utah State University Extension. “We want your yard to be healthy.” 

Hansen said the goal during drought is survival. “We want your yard to basically weather the storm. So, understanding that we can reduce water but still keep our plants alive. They may not be thriving but they are going to be alive and they are going to make it through.” 

She said there are several plants you can add to your landscaping to bring it to life without all the water. 

Drought-resistant trees include crabapple, zelkova, hackberry, and junipers as well as shrubs like Oregon grapes, sumacs, and mock oranges. 

Water-wise perennials like catmints, asters, and Russian sage also help the bee population. 

Hansen added that it’s natural for grass to brown in the heat of summer and it doesn’t mean the lawn won’t come back. 

There are ways we can water more efficiently like doing it at night or in the early morning as opposed to during the heat of the day when more of the water will evaporate. Another strategy is watering longer twice a week instead of watering for a shorter amount of time four times a week. 

“They’re going to be able to access that water with deeper roots,” she said. “It also helps to create healthier plants. So, plants that have deep roots will weather the heat much better than plants that don’t.” 

Petunias and other flashy flowers that come and go every year are annuals that are not water efficient. 

Hansen said you can still have them but it might be better to put them in a container instead of all around the exterior of your house. 

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Lawn, Garden Secrets To Withstand Drought