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Drought makes plants less resistant to disease and pests

Plants require special care in a drought.
Plants require special care in a drought.
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Drought stress can weaken your garden, making it more susceptible to disease and pests. Struggling to keep your garden healthy in a drought? Giving them adequate water, but watching them slowly succumb? Remember, your plants have more to worry about in a drought than the lack of rain. Like humans, plants have trouble fighting their own battles when stressed. If you don't keep an upper hand on pest control and disease symptoms, your garden might suffer from more than thirst in a drought year.

Take preventative measures against fungal disease.

In a drought year, your garden can be perfectly fine one day and suffering the next. That's why you should regularly spray susceptible plants with an all natural fungicide. Once a month should take care of any stray spores that have decided to land in your garden. Do make sure your garden has proper drainage at the start of the season. Be sure you're regularly checking for signs of other diseases as well.

Be diligent about watching for pests.

They can sneak up on you. It also doesn't hurt to put out slug beer traps ahead of the game. Use some homemade natural pest control methods for the bugs you see. Spray an all purpose natural garden bug repellent monthly for the ones you don't. Keeping up with bug infestations will help your drought stressed plants fight off pests and recover more quickly.

Don't let overconfidence ruin your garden.

You're a gardening genius. Normally, your garden is the talk of the neighborhood. That doesn't mean your drought-weary garden won't have the same issues as everyone else. Disease and pests don't discriminate. It doesn't matter how awesome your garden normally is. In a drought year, no one is immune to failure in the garden. Drought stressed plants present a whole new set of problems.

Drought years bring different garden issues.

You may have to get out the gardening books if your area is hotter and drier than usual. The plants you normally excel at growing might not do as well. Try checking out techniques for gardening in arid or semi-arid regions. You might want to try some plants native to those areas too. After all, that's the climate you're dealing with in a drought year.

Rainwater vs supplemental water.

For some reason, plants prefer rainwater to tap water from the hose. That's especially true in a drought, when plants need all the TLC they can get. Maybe it's the chlorine. Maybe it's because you use the hose more frequently in a drought. Take advantage of any rain you get by using rain barrels. Save the rainwater you collect for days when you don't get rain. Water with it, instead of using the hose. Do check local regulations first though. Some areas have laws against collecting rainwater due to water rights.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

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