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Category: water wisdom

Drought-ready gardens

Drought-ready gardens

We know already that it’s gonna be a long hot summer.  And (despite LA Times misleading headlines) Southern California is STILL in extreme drought conditions.  That means we’ve got to adapt our gardens. Here’s what I’m doing at mine:

El Niño: What to check on your downspouts

El Niño: What to check on your downspouts

In usually-water-lean Southern California, most of us have directed rain gutter downspouts to run into our gardens, so that we can make the most of every drop. (drawing A) This is a great setup for most years, when we get a mere drizzle. But this year with Godzilla El Niño floods coming, we need to make some changes.

El Niño: Protect garden pets

El Niño: Protect garden pets

At my house, we have city chickens. At the Community Garden at Holy Nativity, we have bunnies. With a Godzilla El Niño coming, all of these delightful little critters need rain protection.

Preparing for El Nino – Nov. 7

Preparing for El Nino – Nov. 7

Are you ready for LOTS of rain?  Sounds like it is headed our way this winter. That’s why on Saturday November 7, we’ll be preparing for rain at the Westchester Community Oven.  Come learn about water drainage, how to install a french drain, and how to correct your grading.

Making the best of drought and flood

Making the best of drought and flood

Seems like we’re getting the weather extremes this year.  A summer of extreme drought, water rationing, and lawn removal.  And winter forecasts are for record-breaking rains (but all that water isn’t here yet). How do we make the best of all these extremes?

Rainwater harvesting: Infiltration features

Rainwater harvesting: Infiltration features

One category of rainwater harvesting uses Mother Earth as your “storage device.”  You design your landcape, including choices on surface materials and making decisions about the grading (land sculpting), with the goal of making water soak into the ground. Up until fairly recently, architects were trained to wisk stormwater away from properties as quickly as possible.  Thus rain gutters and downspouts are directed into storm drains, and storm drains go (around here) out to the ocean.  Sidewalks, driveways, and pathways were made…

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Rainwater harvesting: Capture and Store devices

Rainwater harvesting: Capture and Store devices

  I’ve written before about rain barrels.  At the Community Garden at Holy Nativity, we have rain tanks.  TreePeople has a massive cistern up on Mulholland. All of these devices — rain barrels, rain tanks, cisterns — are what are considered “capture & store” devices.  Capture the rain, and store it for your own personal future use.

Water waste or water savings – which are you planning for?

Water waste or water savings – which are you planning for?

If the most current forecasts prove true, we in drought-wracked Southern California could be in for a very wet winter.  Weather analysts are predicting a Godzilla El Niño, with once-in-a-generation levels of rainfall. Rainwater harvesting is the word of the day, and the time to be installing these features is NOW, before the rains come.