Living in Montgomery County, we often find ourselves in a “drought” or with water restrictions because of the lack of rainfall. The grass becomes hard and scratchy, and our scrubs beg for water. Even our potted plants are wilted from the extreme heat.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tomatoes-in-Pot-GardensSo how do you keep your garden and potted plants looking green and thriving when rainfall is at a premium? Here are some ideas

Look at the type of plants you are using in your garden. Do they need a lot of moisture to thrive … or survive? If you aren’t sure, do some research online or visit your local nursery to find out. If this is the case, you may want to switch the type of plants you are choosing for your garden to ones that are “drought resistant.

Check your soil. Does your soil retain moisture? If you are potting plants, there are several bag mixtures (Miracle Grow is one example) that are specifically geared toward retaining moisture. If you have flowers in beds, you’ll want to make sure you have a thick coating of mulch to help hold in moisture.

Arrange like plants together. Not all plants need the same amount of water to thrive. Some plants need watered every single day, while others like to be thoroughly dried out before they get their next dose of water. Arranging your garden so like plants are together will allow you to conserve water and give your plants what they need to thrive.

Install a drip-irrigation system. These systems are designed to slowly apply water to the plants’ roots zone which maintains a constant and proper moisture level for the plants.

Build a rain barrel. If you want to conserve water and be “green” at the same time, you can install a rain barrel. A rain barrel collects rain water that you can use throughout your garden, as needed.

If your garden and potted plants aren’t looking beautiful because of the summer heat, apply a few of these water-conservation tips to get your garden blooming again.