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Let’s Break Down the Meaning of “Drought-Tolerant”

Posted on May, 02

We have many customers wanting drought-tolerant perennials; and rightfully so, we live here in Texas, with some very intense summers. But the term “drought tolerant” may lead you to believe you don’t have to water them at all, because they can handle dry conditions. However, this is only partially true, because you still need to water drought tolerant perennials, especially if this is the first year of being planted: they need to establish their roots before they become truly drought tolerant.

So what does this mean for you?

You want to start by planting perennials with a 50/50 mix of Covington’s soil builder and native soil. Once planted, be sure to mulch around your plants. It would be best to water by hand with a water hose at least three times a week, unless we have substantial rainfall. Please do not rely on your sprinkler to cover the entire root ball of a large tree or shrub — unless you’re running it for long periods at a time — and even then, that could lead to overwatering other things such as bedding plants, that have fewer roots.
The good news is, they establish pretty quickly, so typically, you only have to do this the first summer.  By the second summer, you’ll still want to keep them mulched, but you won’t have to water nearly as much. Before you know it, you will have a relatively maintenance-free garden. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the beauty you have created with all of your splendid new perennials!

Check out Gardening with Texas Tough Perennials here
for gardening tips and some heat-tolerant plant selections to keep your gardens and landscapes colorful all summer long! As always, call 972-475-5888 Ext 2 if you have questions, and inquire about current stock.