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Tag: water saving

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:

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.

What benefits does your drought-tolerant garden provide?

What benefits does your drought-tolerant garden provide?

A California Natives garden can be a beautiful haven for bees, pollinators, butterflies, beneficial insects, birds, and urban wildlife. An edible garden can feed you and your family, perhaps with extra to share with your neighbors and the food pantry too. A drought-tolerant edible garden boosts the nutrition in your food, provides you with exercise and fresh air, helps reduce your food miles, and can sequester carbon (which helps to reduce global warming). Just remember: Gravel + suck-ulents do not…

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Make your own flowerpot ollas

Make your own flowerpot ollas

Ollas are old-tech made new.  They are a GREAT tool for watering your garden during drought-stricken summers. And you can make your own — quickly and easily, for very little money — with parts from the warehouse home supply store.

Raised beds vs. Sunken beds

Raised beds vs. Sunken beds

“To be a successful vegetable gardener you need raised beds,” the garden catalogs and East Coast garden magazines try to persuade us with effusive and glorious terms. Consider what is behind their arguments: a drive for commercial sales, and a dramatically different growing climate. East Coast gardeners raise their beds for two good reasons: 1) to be able to dig the soil sooner after a cold freeze, and 2) to keep the rootballs of their plants high so they won’t…

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Are you Ready for Rain?

Are you Ready for Rain?

[see also “Are you prepared for el Niño?” I’ve been thinking about rain a lot lately, especially since we have 151 adobe bricks laid out right now, supposedly drying in the sun. We’ve had to do tarp-foraging, and monitor hourly weather forecasts, and get together a Tarping Team who can respond almost instantly, to give the bricks maximum sun, and minimum rain … but all that has simply added to my Rain Awareness. When rain is forecast, I have this routine:…

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