velvetmoonlight
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Drought Resistant plants in Ohio (zone 6)?

I desire a low maintenance garden and I was wondering:
1. It never seems to address this in the books I read. If I planted drought-resistant plants and if it rain "too much" if they would die? I'm in Ohio, zone 6.
2. I'm not even sure what Ohio's rainfall even is. What is an reliable source to find this out?

I'm new to gardening. Thanks to those who reply!

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Cincinnati rainfall

Hi! I'm in Cincinnati too. Our average rainfall is nearly 40 inches a year (!) fairly evenly distributed through the year. If you have desert type plants, they may or may not survive it, depending partly on how well drained your soil is. Along with all that rain, we tend to have very heavy yellow clay soil. So you need to mix in lots of organic matter to lighten it up and let it drain better. If your plants stay too wet, they can just curl up and die or they can get fungal diseases and then curl up and die.

But I have salvias, lavender, and other drought tolerant plants that do just fine as long as they are kept very well drained...

velvetmoonlight
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Hi rainbowgardener. Thanks for the info. Good to know about the rain here and that I could do drought resistant plants, though maybe I don't need to!

The only thing I have is bushes and herbs so far. I am hoping for a low maintenance garden b/c I am pretty busy. Then when I have more time maybe I'll do a moon garden.

I wonder if I am being unrealistic about low maintenance gardening. Let me know if I am! I was hoping I could help the plants get "settled" in and then let the weather take care of it and all I would have to do is a little weeding if they come up. So that's why I was thinking drought resistant originally. I read somewhere to dig a hole 1 ft deep by 6 in. and pour water in it and depending on how fast it disappeared would tell me if I have good drainage or not. Would this be accurate enough? Thanks. :)

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rainbowgardener
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low maintenance gardening/ OH native wildflowers

What you want for low maintenance gardening isn't so much drought tolerant, because it's not a very dry place (especially not this year!), but native plants. Native plants are adapted to our climate and soil and so survive well here. They are also adapted to our ecosystem, so aren't easily wiped out by diseases or pests and usually are attractive to the birds and butterflies, etc that are here.

Here's a list of some hardy native perennial wildflowers. I picked ones that like full sun, since you were asking about drought tolerant, I thought you must have a pretty hot sunny area. However, being tough adaptable plants pretty much all of these will also do well in less than full sun. I also picked ones that are common, so most of them you should be able to get in any good nursery, a few you might have to order on line. They are colorful and relatively long-blooming and will give you a beautiful garden.

ONCE ESTABLISHED, these will be very low maintenance, mulch around them to keep weeds down and let them go. It is realistic to think you won't need to do much to them. But everything needs a little monitoring/ care to get started.

So here's my list: agastache (hyssop), aster, butterflyweed, coreopsis, bee balm, black eyed susan, purple coneflower, ironweed, joe pye weed, liatris (gayfeather), penstemon, obedient plant, sunflower (helianthus), yarrow.

velvetmoonlight
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Thanks so much for the list. I looked into what you said and that seems better suited for what I was wanting. :) How do you know when something is established?

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rainbowgardener
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when is it established?

Pretty much the first season you plant something, you are going to want to keep an eye on it, make sure it doesn't dry out and has what it needs. If the next spring it comes back and has spread some (has more stems than what you planted), it's established and should be fine on it's own barring disasters.

velvetmoonlight
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Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:20 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Good to know. We bought our house not too long ago so I'm going to put some low maintenance native flowers on the corner bed for now. Its a bed of weeds (previous owner let it go) so I'll dig those out, figure out how good my drainage is and start planting! Thanks for your help :)



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