Turf Doctor Saskatoon offers tips on how to make your yard drought-proof
In our latest Saskatoon Landscaping article, we share tips on how to make your yard drought-proof in Saskatchewan.
Tip on making your yard drought-proof
Drought is no stranger to Saskatchewan. Droughts are a regular occurrence on the Canadian Prairies and sooner rather than later, we’ll be facing long stretches of low precipitation and hosepipe bans.
Wondering how to make your yard drought-proof?
The Turf Doctor team recommend adopting some of the following suggestions:
Amend the soil in your yard with organic matter (compost or manure), especially if it’s sandy, to help retain water as well as to enrich the soil with essential nutrients. Make sure the organic matter has been composted sufficiently to kill weed seeds and diseases.
Cover bare soil with 10 to 15 cm of organic mulch. Mulch not only reduces surface evaporation, it keeps the soil cool (reducing plant stress) and smothers weed seedlings. Organic mulch breaks down and you will need to topdress your beds every 2 or 3 years.
For transplants in the vegetable garden, consider using black (or red for tomatoes) plastic mulch to really reduce water loss and control weeds.
Use drip irrigation (weeping hoses) to irrigate your flower, shrub and vegetable beds (place under mulch layer). Water is applied right where it’s needed with little evaporation. Water early in the day so when it’s hot and dry, plants can draw up the water they need to stay hydrated and to cool themselves through evapotranspiration.
More drought-proofing tips:
Infrequent deep irrigation (applying three cm of water once per week) encourages deep root formation, allowing plants to reach water at depth. Conversely, shallow-rooted plants rely on surface moisture and are more likely to become stressed as soon as the soil starts to dry and the soil temperature rises.
Another tip on how to make your garden drought-proof is to keep your weeds under control. Weeds not only detract from the beauty of your garden, they also suck up water, steal nutrients and crowd out your ornamental plants. Also, control pests and diseases as these put additional stress on your plants, making them less able to respond to drought.
Choose naturally drought-tolerant plants. Many of our native prairie plants are drought-tolerant and make excellent ornamentals. Look for plants with deep roots, succulent leaves or hairy, silvery leaves.
One strategy some plants use to survive drought is avoidance – they grow only in early spring or late fall and are dormant during the hottest and driest part of the year. For non-native plants, look for ones from other dry regions such as the Mediterranean or northern interior of Asia.
The following is a partial list of native (N) and introduced (I) drought-tolerant plants.
Trees: Amur maple (I), bur oak (N), chokecherry (N), green ash (N), Manitoba maple (N), Russian olive (I), Scots pine (I), lodgepole pine (N), Colorado spruce (I), subalpine fir (I) and Siberian larch (I).
Shrubs and vines: caragana (I), dogwood (N), hawthorn (N), honeysuckle (I), juniper (N), lilac (I), mugo pine (I), prairie rose (N), potentilla (I), saskatoon berry (N), sea-buckthorn (I), silver and Canada buffaloberries (N), Virginia creeper (I) and wolf willow (N).
Perennials: artemesia (N), beebalm (a.k.a. monarda, N), blackeyed-Susan (a.k.a. rudbeckia, N), delphinium (I), dianthus (I), echinacea (I, N), gaillardia (N), iris (I, N), lamb’s ears (I), liatris (a.k.a. purple gayfeather, N), lily (I), sedum (I), statice (I), yarrow (N) and thrift (I).
Grasses: little bluestem (N), big bluestem (N), blue oatgrass (I), blue and sheep’s fescues (N) and Karl Foerster feather reed grass (I) Annuals: cosmos (I), marigold (I), rose campion (I), zinnia (I) and annual statice (I)
Herbs: thyme (I), rosemary (I), oregano (I) and sage (I).
Synthetic Turf is the ultimate way to make your yard drought-proof.
Environment Canada estimates that the average homeowner consumes 14,000 litres of water annually to care for their lawn. With the price of water increasing, this could mean even more future savings.
No Dull Brown Grass
Our lawns here in Saskatoon are completely snow covered for 2 months of the year, leaving a minimum of 7 months we are forced to look at a dull, dirty brown yard. With synthetic grass from Turf Doctor, you will have a perfect lawn 12 months of the year.
Need Some Help with Your Saskatoon Landscaping Project? Turf Doctor is Ready to Help!