According to the Weekly Market Bulletin, the US Drought Monitor reports much of southern NH is currenty in a severe drought and several towns have implemented water restrictions. Checkout the NH Department of Environmental Services posting of towns for this region. Here are a few things to consider before we actually are ‘in’ a drought status.
Improve water retention by amending soil during new plantings by adding organic matter such as compost, peat moss, rotted sawdust, shredded leaves and manures. Material can also be worked into the first six-to-eight inches of an established beds’ soil. Mulching with straw, bark mulch, or pine needles after planting slows evaporation. Water very early in the morning or in the evening. This will enable the water used to settle deeper and closer to the root systems giving the plant time to take up the water and endure the drying heat of the day. Water plants weekly deeply to establish a deep root system, then, during drought periods, roots have a better chance of not drying out with the surface soil. Soaker hoses or drip irregation release water slowly so water travels down into the soil rather than running off in all directions. A tree gater or 5 gallon bucket with 3 or 4 holes drilled into the bottom are perfect for watering trees and provides and easy measure of how much water the tree is given. Adding Superthrive and Neptune’s Harvest to the buckets of water are a a good way to build cell structure of plants for added strength against drought conditions. Rain barrels are an inexpensive way to catch earlier rainfall for use during drought.
Planning ahead, select drought tolerant plants. Also, New England Natives naturally grow in this region and are predestined for our climate’s survival. They overwinter well, attract pollinators, disease resistant, and create habitats for wildlife.