UW-EXTENSION: Mitigating Water Stress on Landscape and Garden Plants During Current Local Drought Period | Local News

1) Water perennials when the soil surface dries out moderately. Place the weeping hose a few inches from the crown of the plant and water to an inch deep (0.6 gallons of water is needed to cover a depth of one inch per square foot). If using a wand, direct the flow of water around the base of the plant.

2) Avoid overhead watering to prevent leaf diseases. Water early in the morning to reduce evaporative losses.

3) Mulch helps conserve soil moisture and smother annual weeds. Use shredded wood or bark mulch to a depth of 3 inches.

Fruits and berries

1) Provide 3 to 5 gallons of water per week for young fruit trees. Use a drip irrigation system or hand-water young fruit trees regularly throughout the season.

2) Frequent, shallow watering to a total of 1-1.5 inches per week is essential for small fruit crops like raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. In hot, dry conditions, water the strawberries daily.

3) Maintain a weed-free area around the base of fruit and berry crops.

4) Mulch using shredded bark, sawdust or wood chips to about 3 inches deep.


1) In general, it is best to leave lawn grasses dormant to overcome heat and drought stress. However, prolonging water stress for more than 8 weeks can kill the herb crown. To help make the crown thrive, water the lawn once a week to a depth of one inch. Water early in the morning to prevent evaporative loss and prevent the spread of disease.