Water requirements must always be considered when planning a garden. Even the most drought tolerant plants require water until established. A sensible watering guideline in absence of rain is:
• Every other day for the first two weeks.
• Every four days for the next four weeks.
• Once a week for the rest of the year.
• Once every three weeks the second year.
It is best to group plants with similar water needs in the same area if possible. Drip irrigation can direct water to each plant individually through a system of small tubes and emitters. Kits are available at most home improvement stores. Rainwater harvesting kits (using rain barrels that collect roof runoff) include attachments for hoses and filling the watering can. Pumps are available to increase the water pressure for hose usage.
Using mulch in a garden not only lowers the temperature of soil at the root line, but conserves moisture and can offer organic material to enrich the soil. Mulch material can be either organic – bark mulch or cedar – or non-organic such as pebbles or rocks. Organic mulch will need to be replaced as it breaks down.
Considering these things when planning a garden can give the plants that extra chance to thrive, even during the hottest and driest summer months.
The Internet is a great source of detail descriptions and requirements. Try http://www.txsmartscape.com/ to search the North Central Texas plant database.
If you have any gardening questions, please call the County Agrilife Extension Office at 940-659-1228.