Why a drought tolerant landscape is your next home upgrade
A drought tolerant landscape doesn’t have to look like a desert.
If you do it right, it looks as vibrant as your neighbours’, and costs you a whole lot less to maintain.
Of course you can save money on your landscape by:
- Using local plants.
- Avoiding expensive pesticides.
- Laying new mulch every year.
But the biggest savings come from using less water to maintain your garden.
That means planting a drought tolerant garden that uses less water and keeps the vibrant colour your family loves.
Your first season
Drought tolerant plants take a season to establish a foothold in your landscape, so water them like any other plant in the first season.
Their roots grow deeper and wider than other plant varieties, and a well-established drought tolerant plant does better with way less water next year.
Excellent drought tolerant plants for your garden
Lots of colourful, drought tolerant shrubs, perennials, grasses, vines and trees grow naturally in Ontario. Your favourite garden centre can point you in the right direction.
We have some favourites (not all are local).
Your drought tolerant garden provides colour and variety, and draw bees and birds, with these plants.
- Dwarf Burning Bush
- Butterfly bush
- Ivory halo dogwood
Or flowering plants like…
- Hens and chicks
Mediterranean plants make ideal drought tolerant garden features. Some require no water through even the most painful heatwaves. They’re well suited to low water, poor quality soil environments.
Ornamental grasses are also mainstays of low water consumption gardens. There are thousands of varieties, and all are drought resistant.
Mulch is always present in drought tolerant gardens
Mulch reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation.
Even if you water your plants with a drip system feeding the roots almost directly, you inevitably lose moisture to evaporation.
Mulch creates a barrier between the heat of the sun, the wind, and your moist soil – locking that moisture where it’s needed most.
And more, mulch:
- Blocks the growth of weeds in your soil.
- Regulates the temperature of the soil to insulate plants from day and night temperature fluctuations.
- Breaks down over time to improve soil composition.
- Increases biodiversity in your yard by giving a variety of insects and other tiny creatures homes and shelter.
Use at least 2-3 inches of mulch and top up seasonally.
Trees and shrubs benefit from mulch all year round, and vegetable gardens love it in the summer.
Rake your mulch seasonally to freshen up the colour.
Building a drought tolerant garden takes a lot of planning and careful design work. If you plant willy-nilly all over your property, your plants may not establish and give you the benefit you seek.