Korey Mensch of Mensch Greenhouse, Inc. of Avon is a commercial grower of annuals, perennials, shrubs, and vegetables. Mensch Retail Greenhouse and Flower Shop is located on Hwy 50 at Pine St. in Avon. (605) 286-3638 Thanks to Korey Mensch for tips on plant selection and care for dry conditions of our region:
1) You will have to assess your own gardens and yards as they start to flush with life. Lawns in our area may have taken the most abuse we will hopefully ever see. My own lawn crackled under my feet from not being watered. I did, however, keep my pots looking fine with daily watering and weekly feedings (last season).
2) The more heat and sun, the more fertilizer you will need for a gorgeous display. That goes for everything in your garden.Annuals: My superstars for hot & dry conditions are Angelonia, Gazania, Petunia, Portulaca, Vinca, and Zinnia. All of these are great for that constantly colorful display to last the season. These are my first choices for all-around tenacity.
3) Perennials: Many modern cultivars of native species have lost some of their drought resistance for the sake of the flower or habit in the selection process. However, natives should still be some of your first considerations when choosing plants for perennial gardening. Echinacea, Gaillardia, Penstemon, Rudbeckia, Salvia, and any kind of Sedum would be ready to fight our most rugged of heat waves.
4) Watering deeper and less often is a great weapon when you are in a battle with the combination of sun, heat, and wind, this will encourage the root systems to get larger and go deeper.