Gardens without water
The arrival of summer heat and high pressure, as every year brings with it problems for our garden and terrace plants: many of the plants we have chosen for the color of the flowers or the scent of the foliage force us to keep them healthy and lush, with very regular watering, sometimes daily if the rains do not help us.
Water is a very precious commodity, it would be good not to waste it just to get flowers to admire; for this reason it is good to make sure that the water to be used in irrigation is supplied without waste, for example through the use of drip irrigators, which provide irrigation only near our plants.
If we still have to choose the plants of our garden, we can instead choose essences that do not need excessive watering: in this way the waste of water will be reduced to a minimum, and we will also be able to leave home for long periods of time, without having to worry about the our plants.
Trees and shrubs
The tall trees develop a large root system, which grows to high depths as it grows; in this way the trees of the woods and parks are able to survive only with the water received from rainfall, since in case of drought they can look for water that is stored from the ground in depth. For this reason, most trees can survive without any problems even without treatment, even during hot summers with little or no precipitation. Therefore many species of pines, cedars, catalpas, poplars, plane trees, locust trees, oaks, and many other species of trees are also cultivated in the garden without needing watering, growing luxuriantly from year to year and also giving refreshment. from the heat under the shade of their hair. Most palm trees also easily cope with drought, caused by a lack of rain or wind.
Also a good part of the widespread shrubs such as hedge plants can develop being satisfied with the rains, such as viburnum, ilex, aucuba, buckthorn, olive trees, junipers, tall tamarisks. The same applies to some climbing plants, such as the vine, the trachelospermum and the passionflower.
However, remember that these plants can tolerate drought only if their root system is well developed; therefore the young specimens that have recently settled down need watering during the hot and dry months, to be supplied when the soil is dry, avoiding excesses.
Perennials and annuals
The root system of annuals and perennials is certainly not as robust and developed as that of the shrubs; for this reason most of the perennials and annuals need watering during the vegetative period, to prevent plants from withering irreparably.
The water used by the water is used by the plants to absorb the mineral salts stored in it from the soil, which are dissolved in the water itself, and reach the plant cells through the roots; therefore scarcity of water means scarce supply of mineral salts, fundamental for the development of foliage, flowers and fruits; moreover, as in animals, a large part of the mass that constitutes the "body" of a plant consists of water, which is constantly lost through evaporation from the leaf blades, and reintegrated through the root system.
Plants that naturally develop in dry or windy places, have developed physical characteristics that prevent or limit the evaporation of water through the foliage, and therefore can withstand periods of drought, even very prolonged.
The physical characteristics mentioned above are easily seen with the naked eye: some are typical of succulent plants, that is thick and fleshy stems, foliage absent or reduced to thorns, fluff; others are typical of shrubs, perennials and annuals, therefore coriaceous foliage, often covered with down or fluff that makes it gray-green in color, low development and close to the ground.
Therefore most of the plants that have developed these characteristics may not need watering, and despite the lack of water they develop at their best: we remember the gray-leafed perennials, such as sage, rosemary, cistus, wormwood; most of the cold-resistant succulents, such as lewisia, sempervivum, portulaca, tradescantia, yucca, lychnis, asclepias. These are plants that we can plant in our garden without necessarily having to water them, even during the most torrid and dry summer.
Gardens without water: Some tricks
We always remember that every single plant needs the right cultivation method, to be able to develop at its best; we place in the sun plants that like heat and direct sunlight, while in the shade we will put those that do not need sunlight to develop. For the garden we choose the most suitable plants for the climatic zone in which we live, avoiding to plant excessively exotic essences, or remember that in this case they will have to be treated in a particular way.
Plants grown in pots generally have greater needs than the same plants grown in the ground, this is because their root system cannot be developed at will, but is constrained within a well-defined space; therefore also the cistus may need watering if a large shrub is kept in a small pot.
There are also plants that have developed a particular defense mechanism against heat and drought: during the torrid and dry months they enter a period of semi-vegetative rest, within which they cease to produce new foliage and flowers; in this way they limit very much the water and nutritional needs of the whole plant, which will start to develop again when the cool autumn arrives. A typical example of such behavior is roses; we therefore remind you that this type of shrubs or perennials can be left with little summer watering, provided you do not expect the splendid spring flowering, which you will only get with a regular supply of water.
Other plants can withstand drought thanks to organs in which they store water and nutrients, they are bulbous; in any case, these plants need spring watering in order to begin the growing season; subsequently they are watered until the foliage dries up: in this way the plant has time to store other nutrients for the following year's flowering; if we cut the foliage, for example, to the daffodils immediately after flowering we risk not getting flowers the following year.
As a general suggestion for all plants we remind that small frequent waterings, which only moisten the surface layer of soil, cause a shallow root system, and extended near the surface of the soil; this type of roots are very exposed to heat, cold and drought; to obtain that any plant (even those that make up the turf of our lawn) develop a broad and deep root system, watering must be very abundant and separated by a certain period of time, so that the roots are forced to develop into depth to look for water. In the same way it would be better to water the potted plants by filling the saucer, rather than providing water from above.
Plants resistant to the sun little water
The balcony plants par excellence are the geraniums, which, from north to south, from spring to autumn, brighten our
visit: plants resistant to the sun little water