After last year’s dry conditions, it’s always a good idea to keep some additional water-retaining ideas in your back pocket.
You might want to try coir, fibre that was formerly a waste product from husking coconuts. It is renewable and lasts longer than peat. It encourages nutrient storage and water retention but does not encourage diseases. Coir is available at Green Thumb in compressed ‘bricks’ that expand to approximately five times their original size – it is organic and biodegradable.
Remember, rain barrels and soaker hoses collect and direct water. Good soil structure annually improved by adding organic matter helps keep water where it should be – near the plant roots.