If you dream of having a yard filled with colorful plants, but your area gets limited rainfall, you can still have a beautiful garden. You just have to choose the right plants for your area’s climate and help them retain water.

Select the Best Species for Your Garden

Some plants have characteristics that allow them to grow in areas with limited moisture. For instance, some species have leaves that store water or that cause water to evaporate slowly. Many species of herbs can thrive with little water, but you might have to establish them indoors before transferring them to your garden.

Drought-tolerant plants and/or species that are native to your area should fare well. Before you select plants for your garden, do some research or consult a knowledgeable gardener, landscaper or nursery employee to find out about the requirements of specific species and to make sure that you don’t choose invasive species that could threaten native plants.

Set Yourself Up for Success

  • Plant your garden in the fall, when vegetation will get adequate rainfall and have an opportunity to get established. Adding an amendment to the soil can improve its properties and help plants thrive.
  • Compost can provide vital nutrients and help vegetation retain water. You can also mix water-storing crystals into soil. They will hold onto water and gradually release it to plants as needed. This can create less work for you while ensuring that your plants get the right amounts of moisture at the right times.
  • Arrange plants in groups based on how much water they require. That will make it easier to give each species adequate moisture without wasting water by spraying it on plants that don’t need it.
  • Water your garden early in the morning, before the sun is bright. That will cause water to evaporate slowly.
  • You can use an irrigation system to deliver water directly to plant roots. That will help them develop deep root systems so they will be able to thrive later with limited water.
  • It’s also important to manage soil temperature and discourage weed growth.
  • Incorporating mulch made of bark, pine needles, leaves or other materials can help.
  • A xeriscape is a type of landscaping design that helps a garden thrive with minimal water. Rocks and other materials can be placed strategically to help plants conserve moisture, and water-storing mats can provide moisture to plants as required.

Get Professional Advice

Growing a garden in a place with limited rainfall is challenging but doable. Before you get started, consult a gardener or landscaper so you can learn about common mistakes and avoid wasting time, money and water.