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Ask an Expert: Keeping Plants Alive in a Drought

Prioritize what you want to save, especially if you have container gardens that are the quickest to go dry, horticulturalist Kevin Eberhard said.

Every week, we ask an expert a question about how to do something. This week, it's how to keep your garden alive during a drought.

Newsflash: It's hot outside. It's been hot for almost the entire summer. And if your garden is in containers, with the lack of rain we've had, you'd better be watering a lot or those plants are probably done for.

"I would water the pots first," Kevin Eberhard said. "Definitely your containers, because they are going to dry more quickly than your plants in the ground."

Eberhard is the head horticulturalist at the and , both of which are part of the

At the beginning of the growing season, Eberhard taught a class on successful at the Minooka branch of the

Eberhard said that while the lack of rain has made rain barrels rather useless, the good news is the watering restrictions or bans in most towns apply to lawns and not to trees or gardens. Such is the case in , where do not prevent residents from watering with hoses.

If it ever did get to the point where hose watering were banned, you could always turn to bottled water, Eberhard said. Any kind would do.

"I would just say that any bottled water would be fine because if you needed to you could add fertilizer to balance it out," he said.

At that point, you are simply trying to keep the plant alive, he said.

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Kathy jones July 31, 2012 at 02:31 PM
When is the best time to water plants, morning or night /

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