Abundant Harvests - garden info, Cityscape Seeds

babygreensOh, this is the season for leafy greens and root vegetables — and an El Niño year is no exception!

They grow plenty of veggies in English gardens and (although we in So Cal may be unaccustomed to it) that’s the kind of climate we have here this winter.

Just to prove my point, yesterday evening my smartphone weather app had the same forecast for London as for L.A. … rainy, high 40s …

The thing to know about wet winters and gardens (in addition to El Niño flood preparations) is:

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water wisdom

downspoutAIn 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. Continue Reading

water wisdom

rainwater harvesting pitsOne 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 of impermeable materials like concrete, asphalt, or mortared brick or stone, and were similarly graded to drain to storm drainsas quickly as possible.  Unless you’ve reworked your property’s drainage within the past 5 years or so (or you had a rather extraordinary architect), this is probably how your property functions.

When we send precious rainwater zipping out to the storm drains, it does us no good in easing the drought.  The water is wasted. Continue Reading

water wisdom


rain barrels
home rain barrels

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. Continue Reading