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Smart Tips For Gardening On Dry Soil

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 6:06
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Gardening on dry soil becomes almost impossible if you don’t have the proper experience and if you don’t prepare in advance. The absence of moisture can foil your gardening plans and leave you struggling with parched soils. The following suggestions are a must when gardening on dry soil.

Some gardeners have a saying which goes a little like this: “pick the right plant for the right spot”. It’s easily understandable that growing moisture loving plants on dry soil will not work. Not unless you have a huge water reserve that you can spare.

Growing drought resistant plants seems like the smart way to go, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. Besides selecting the appropriate plants, there are a few other steps needed for gardening on dry soil. Weather your soil is sand, gravel, chalk or clay-based, there’s always a solution to have lush foliage.

Improving your garden soil is another piece of the puzzle and seeing that almost all of us are now vulnerable to periods of summer drought, this step requires proper care. You don’t have to be an expert gardener to put all the pieces together, you just need to keep on reading and follow through.

Clever tips for gardening on dry soil:

1. Add organic matter when gardening on dry soil

A bountiful garden requires well-tended soil and this is one of the golden rules of gardening. Before planting in dry soil, it’s important to dig in a generous amount of organic matter.  Compost works best and it’s highly recommended when creating an entire bed or overhauling one. Most gardeners recommend going with deep digging to ensure the growing of a large variety of plants.

Compost breaks up dense dry soil such as clay and it provides good aeration. This allows the roots to move freely and grow stronger. Another advantage of compost is adding bulk to dry sandy soils and it keeps plant nutrients from being washed away. The following article will teach you about alternative soil conditioners.

Related article: Alternative soil conditioners for organic gardening

2. Select drought tolerant plants

When you’re gardening on dry soil, you have to be strict about your plant choices. You should pick only those that thrive in drought, regardless if you plant vegetables or decorative plants. In general, most drought resistant vegetables need short days to maturity. There are many varieties which need less water to develop and provide a good crop.

Here is a list with the plants my family tried over the years:

  • Sweet potato
  • Swiss chard
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Iroquois cantaloupe
  • Okra
  • Peppers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Melon
  • Squash
  • Eggplants (miniature varieties)
  • Moth bean
  • Tepary bean
  • Chickpea
  • Black-eyed pea
  • Lima bean (Jackson wonder)
  • Corn (Black Aztec and Hopi Pink varieties

There are other types of drought resistant vegetables and you need to research about the ones popular in your region. If you plan on growing plants on dry soil, start first by checking what others are growing in your region.

3. Add mulch for moisture

Depending on the size of your garden, you could add a layer of mulch to it. This will help trap moisture, keep the roots of the plant cool and prevent weeds. It also allows you to walk around your beds with ease without stepping on plants.

Gravel works best for dry zones, but there are also those who add straw or chipped bark. The main advantage of gravel is that it won’t allow plants to rot since it doesn’t soak up moisture. It’s also aesthetically-pleasing for decorative gardens.

Read the rest of the article on Prepper’s Will

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