Southern Californians know planning a garden that can withstand drought conditions isn’t easy. To get the most out of your garden, don’t wait until spring to start planting. Grab your shovel and start digging this month. Typically, November yields 10 percent of our annual rainfall. Our soil temperatures are still warm, which makes it an ideal time to get out there and plant!
Start your drought-tolerant garden by testing your irrigation system. Make sure all lines are clear and everything is working efficiently before you do your planting. Having your system in place will help you plan your garden.
Remember that mulch is your friend. Laying out three to four inches of mulch can reduce your watering needs. Mulch aids in the prevention of water evaporation and keeps your soil cooler during the summer months. Another water-retention technique is to plant in a raised, enclosed garden bed. If you’re able to go this route, group plants with similar requirements together.
Pansies planted in late fall will provide stunning colors throughout the winter months. Remember to prune your flowers lightly through the winter or you may end up reducing the amount you have next year. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to plant your bulbs.
Establishing your garden in fall helps your plants build a good root system. With heavier fall and winter rain, your plants will be ready for the dryer months.