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Making the garden fit for dry periods and heavy rain

Downderry Lavender – Photo: Helix

The Federal Environment Agency and the German Meteorological Service already determined in a joint analysis in 2015 that the climate change will lead more frequently to droughts and heavy rainfall in the coming years. Both weather phenomena face garden owners with challenges that they had best prepare themselves for as early as possible.

Water is the basis for all forms of life – without sufficient moisture nothing grows. Hence, watering plants is one of the most important tasks in the garden especially during longer spells of hot, dry periods. Those who don’t want their water bills to hit the roof in such times in the height of the summer, should choose the right plants for the respective area of the property. Depending on where the plants originally grow in nature, their need for water varies strongly. Plants that need a lot of water can be grown in moist spots in the shade or on the edge of a pond – for example rhododendron or basket willow. In places where the sun shines strongly one is advised to opt for plants that are used to dry climates and which need comparably little water: for example lavender, honeysuckle or sea buckthorn.

Rain barrel Natura-2in1 – Photo: Graf

In order to use less tap water and prepare for long-lasting dry periods, it is becoming more and more logical for garden owners to create reservoirs. A rain barrel is an established principle that can also be implemented on a larger scale and yet attractively integrated into the garden design. Water reservoirs can for instance be hidden in the ground, behind a wall or an overgrown fence and water tanks created as stylish water basins.

smart gardening – Photo: Gardena

Modern technology can also be the method of choice in the garden in order to reduce the water consumption. It is ideal to unite the reservoir with an automatic irrigation system because then the water is optimally distributed depending on the weather conditions. The necessary supply hoses can be laid under hedges and bushes so they are not noticeable. Smart gardening is also playing a more and more important role where irrigation is concerned. Using a corresponding app on the smartphone, many systems that are available in retail outlets today allow the desired irrigation quantity and times to be set at any time. Those who want things to be more convenient, can use humidity sensors which automatically trigger off the irrigation.

The garden owners should also be prepared for the second extreme weather phenomenon, namely torrential rainfall. So that the water masses that suddenly occur don’t accumulate it is important to plan as many drainage areas in the garden as possible. These include green areas of all kinds: hedges, trees, bushes, lawns, shrub beds … Areas that are on the other hand sealed by impermeable paving or asphalt, cannot absorb or drain off the water.

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