There are many reasons to think about reducing water use in the garden including conserving water, saving money, not having to worry about local watering bans during droughts or even if you want to put in a new bed that is inconveniently far away from the nearest water source. Here a couple of Hook’s tips to help you decrease water use in the garden:

  • Consider shrinking down the size of your lawn if it requires sprinklers to keep it looking lush in the heat of summer. Figure out how much lawn is needed for yard activities and fill in the excess with drought tolerant or native plant landscaping. Rock pathways are a nice touch too.
  • Choose native plants or other varieties suited to the local climate. These types of plants do not need much water after they are settled in because they are adapted to the climate. Native plants tend attract more local pollinators than exotics giving you another reason to go native!
  • Try to only water in the morning when it tends to be cooler and less windy. Watering in the morning reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation.
  • Raise lawn mower blade to 2 ½ to 3 inches. The taller grass shades the ground more which helps prevent the sun from drying out the soil.
  • Cluster plants with similar water needs which both makes watering easier and saves water.
  • Collect rainwater in a gutter-fed rain barrel or an underground cistern. Consider recycling “grey-water” from your house to use outdoors. Talk to your plumber if recycling water interests you.

Here at Hook’s we have a number of drought tolerant and native plants. Although keep in mind that even drought tolerant and native plants need watering in the first year to help them transition and establish their root systems. Once established these plants will require less water than other varieties. Below is a list of drought tolerant plants that can be found at the greenhouse!

Native plants:

Monarda (Bee Balm)

Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan)

Baptisia

Asclepias tuberosa and Asclepias incarnata

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)

Aquilegia canadensis (Columbine)

Liatris spicata (Blazing Star)

Geranium maculatum (Wild Geranium)

Lupinis perennis (Wild Lupine)

 

Drought Tolerant Perennials:

Achillea

Anthemis

Aquilegia

Armeria

Artemisia

Asclepias ‘Hello Yellow’ and ‘Blonde Bombshell’

Aurinia (Alyssum)

Baptisia

Buddleia

Calamagrostis

Centranthus

Cerastium

Coreopsis

Dianthus

Echinacea

Eryngium

Festuca

Gypsophila

Helleborus (Lenten Rose)

Heliopsis

Heuchera

Lavendula

Nepeta

Paeonia

Penstemon

Perovskia (Russian Sage)

Phalaris

Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks)

Sedum

Sporobolus (Pairie Dropseed)

Stachys

Stokesia (Stokes’ Aster)

Viola

 

Drought Tolerant Annuals:

Angelonia

Alyssum

Borage

Cleome

Cosmos

Dichondra

Dusty Miller

Gazania

Portulaca

Popcorn Plant

Salvia

Summer Savory

Verbena

Vinca

Zinnia

 

Stop by the greenhouse today to check out our selection of native and drought tolerant plants!

 

References:

“Reining in water use” by Marjorie E. Gage, This Old House, July-August 2006.

Drought Tolerant Garden – by members of the Ohio Landscapers Association