Though you would prefer not to lose any plants, what plants to sacrifice in a drought is an important question to answer. Sally Cunningham in her article says that gardeners seem to almost intuitively know the answer to a lot of gardening questions. In reality, though, answers to questions come from a lot of experience in gardening, from doing things right by chance and making mistakes as well. She does give the reader some suggestions, however, about what plants to sacrifice in a drought. She calls it “triage watering.” Do I detect some medical background?
The “triage” approach starts with three questions:
* Who (what) will survive if I do nothing? . . .
* Who (what) will die anyway? . . .
* Who (what) can I save? . . .
Sally’s three questions are really helpful in determining how to use scarce water resources. She says that usually grass will survive if you do nothing, provided it’s root structure is basically sound. She assures the reader that it will eventually come back from it’s dormant state. I’ve seen this happen with my lawn more than once, and I hope it will happen again this year. She says that some plants are beyond saving and should be let go. She tells the reader how to make that decision in her article. She then tells the reader which plants will benefit from our watering. She writes about how to get more blooms from your flowers as well in her article.
The choices about what to dead-head, and how far to cut plants back, make a huge difference in how long you have flowers this summer. Books may tell you how far to cut back, but the plants can show you if you look. When in doubt, cut back finished buds and stems to just above the next bud you see, or the next healthy leaves. One principle governs why flowering plants continue to produce flower buds: A plant’s mission – the built-in rule for species survival – is to reproduce its kind. The plant wants to produce seeds before it’s finished. Annuals keep trying and we keep dead-heading so we can have million bells or Scaevola or begonias blooming all summer. Perennials, too, have the seed-production mission, but we can’t get them all to rebloom because we run out of time in the season. Still, if we dead-stem or cut back spring or early-summer flowering plants, we can force them to flower again. Just whack back those perennial geraniums, coreopsis, penstemons, catmint and salvias, and watch what happens.
Sally gives the reader some information about fertilizing and cautions not to fertilize when plants are in drought because it causes them additional stress. Though getting more blooms and knowing when to fertilize are important, whey we’re going through a drought in our part of the country, I thought Sally’s points about what plants to sacrifice in a drought were the most import of the article. What did you think? You can read Sally’s article by clicking here or on the link below. Let us know what you thought of her article and LIKE us on Facebook, please.