Surviving the drought

November 6, 2007

Lee County --  Drought conditions are expected to continue across much of Georgia through spring next year.

But just because you can't water as often, shouldn't keep Georgians from gardening this fall.
Lush greens and bright, beautiful blossoms don't have to be just a fantasy for Southwest Georgia gardeners hit by watering restrictions.

"Fortunately this time of year, we don't have to worry about tremendous amounts of water because we are into the fall and hitting into the winter season," says ABC Nursery Owner Greg Daniell.

Daniell has been managing his nursery for 20 years and knows its not about when you can water, but how to make the most of when you can.  "Water heavy when you do. Don't water lightly each time, because its better to water lawns heavily at once."

Using the right kind of soils is also key during limited water usage. "You can look for some with water retentive soil, or soil conditioners or some that will have additives that will retain the moisture." 

And once beds are planted, "Anytime you do a bed you either mulch it with pine sot or some other type of mulch. It helps water stay in the bed and not evaporate quite as fast."   

Now is the best time for gardeners to plant shrubs that don't require much watering.
"This time of year is the best time of the year to plant. Plants will get established better when you get them in the fall and winter."

"One plant that is real popular and great during a drought is knock out roses. Most shrubs will do well with just a little amount of water."

Using the right techniques during the drought can give you a lawn that makes your neighbors green with envy.

Trimming hedges and trees that are not budding during the spring will also improve the lively hood of those plants during the drought.