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Video: Growing Trees And Shrubs In Dry Conditions
Read the previous part. ← Drought-resistant fruit trees and shrubs
So, first things first: it is better to plant new plants in spring or autumn, it is during this period that a sufficient amount of rain falls, and plants can easily take root and take root in a new place.
When planting plants in such conditions, it is necessary to dig a hole deeper than usual, and be sure to add leaf humus or garden compost to it, which improve the structure and composition of the soil and retain moisture at the roots for a longer time.
It is even better to use special moisture-retaining granules or gel, which are abundantly saturated with water during irrigation, and then this water is gradually given to the roots. Such means of "help" should be mixed with soil when planting or replanting plants. They are especially important for plants that are grown in containers, as they allow them to more quickly adapt to open ground.
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You should also use mulch on curbs, around shrubs and trees, and on top of pots and baskets of plants. Mulch should be laid out in the spring after warm weather sets in, and the earth warms up and is saturated with moisture. Shredded bark, sawdust, shavings, pine needles, gravel, garden compost or common synthetic material can also be used as mulch materials.
The choice of mulch depends on the type of plant (for example, bark, sawdust and needles acidify the soil and are therefore great for rhododendrons). Mulch allows moisture to enter the soil during rain or watering, but makes it difficult for it to evaporate and, importantly, inhibits weed growth.
Weeds must be removed in a timely manner. It is easiest to carry out this operation in the spring, when they are just showing up from the ground. It is better to plant the plants more densely, leaving only the space necessary for the development of roots, which will reduce the evaporation of moisture and prevent the soil from drying out.
Watering in dry conditions
Everyone knows that when there is a lack of moisture in the soil, the development of plants stops, and the first sign of dehydration is sluggish leaves or buds. If you do not make up for the loss of moisture at this stage, then the leaves and buds will begin to turn yellow, dry and eventually fall off, which may well lead to the death of the entire plant. The ideal time for regular scheduled watering is a calm late evening when the heat leaves, and the power takes on a cool night.
Of course, let's say watering in the early morning, but amateur gardeners who stay up late in their plots rarely get up so early. It is highly advisable to use sprinklers for daily watering of young crops of grass or freshly laid turf. There is one trick - place a glass container in the spray area and watch - when the water level in it reaches 13 mm - finish watering.
How to save water
First, it should be noted that for the normal development of a strong and deep root system that can support the plant in the harshest weather conditions, it is necessary that water penetrates to a depth of at least 60 centimeters. If you have the ability to use irrigation systems, invest in a modern drip or jet system instead of a traditional sprinkler. Thanks to this system, the water gets exactly as intended to the roots of the plant and is absorbed to the last drop, without wasting on watering neighboring weeds.
Before watering, be sure to loosen the soil around the plant and make a small hole so that it is in the middle of the depression. And then all the water after irrigation will remain in this hole and, as it is absorbed, will get to the roots of the plant, and will not spread over the dry soil. And one more little secret concerning the soil - if possible, try not to disturb it again, because any loosening contributes to additional evaporation of moisture. If you water from a watering can, then it is better to remove the shower head from it and water the plants to the very root, then all the water will fall as intended, and not spread around.
Find an opportunity to use "recycled" water - the one left over from washing, cleaning, washing dishes … it is suitable for watering ornamental plants, trees and shrubs. For irrigation, you must not use only water with residues of bleach, bleach, disinfectants and other strong chemicals. It is advisable to have special barrels in the garden to collect rainwater. These barrels are connected directly to a pipe, which receives water from the grooves located around the perimeter of the roof of the house. For greater convenience, the barrels can be installed on an elevation so that you can substitute a watering can under the opening tap or connect a hose to it.
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So, we got acquainted with the basic techniques that allow plants to survive in extreme conditions.
Among amateur gardeners, and also professionals, there is an active debate about the prospects for using drought-resistant plants in gardening, landscaping cities and summer cottages. I can say unequivocally: this is not only promising and profitable, but also vital, especially in the green areas of large cities, where it is sometimes very difficult to establish stable watering.
What kind of seedlings are best to buy, because the future harvest directly depends on the quality of the planting material? First of all, you need to firmly remember that the younger the seedling, the more confidently it takes root and adapts to new soil conditions. For example, a two-year-old seedling takes root much faster than a three-year-old, and an annual one even easier.
It is best to buy seedlings of various crops in specialized nurseries, because there the planting material is leveled and pure-bred. Some gardeners, mostly amateurs, choose seedlings according to their strength of growth, not paying attention to the main and main part - the root system. But the main attention should be paid to the condition of the roots: the more completely the roots are preserved after excavation, the faster and less painful it will take root.
It is very important that the roots are not dry, but moist, lively and have not only main, but also adventitious roots. Beware of private sellers who usually have “all grades”. This is unlikely, but it is quite possible to run into a wild seedling. After you have carefully studied the root system, turn your gaze to the crown. If there are leaves on the seedling during the autumn purchase, then they must be carefully removed, trying not to damage the buds. The bark of the seedling should also be examined. If it is wrinkled, it means that it was dug up a long time ago and has already dried up, and there is a high probability that it may not take root.
A full-fledged seedling of such common crops as apple, pear, plum, cherry should have a clearly defined conductor, 3-5 skeletal branches, directed evenly in different directions.
The slope of the branches to the trunk should be close to 90o, maybe less, but not less than 45o. Usually, a one-year-old seedling reaches a height of about one meter, and a two-year-old one and a half. Buds at the tops of one-year-olds and branches of two-year-olds should be well formed, large and intact. Similar requirements should be imposed on seedlings of berry and ornamental shrubs: currants, for example, should have well-developed filamentous fibrous roots, and the aerial part should have 1-3 shoots.
I also want to give advice to gardeners who are planning to collect a collection of different varieties of crops. Having bought a seedling, immediately attach a label on it, on which write the name of the variety with a glass-printing device, otherwise it will be rather difficult to distinguish them from each other over time. Many farms are now engaged in the production of seedlings of such crops: both research and production at institutes, and private, where planting material is sometimes even better.
The selection of fruit, berry and ornamental plants for drought resistance is also underway, and this is a rather difficult work, since there are still quite a few insufficiently studied points here. For example, I can recommend to gardeners well-known drought-resistant varieties of plums and cherry plums - Date, Monforskaya, Green Renklode, Shavkliavi, Vasilyevskaya 41, Shabrani, Raisin Eric, Emma Leperman, Gayja arazi.
As for the choice of the latest drought-resistant varieties, there are also disadvantages: these varieties do not always correspond to the description, which means that in different climatic zones they can behave absolutely unpredictably. And here we can only hope for the honesty of the sellers who can help make a choice, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the variety in specific conditions.