Did a shovel slice a drip line? A rock or staple puncture the tubing? An expelled emitter or goof plug create a crater? A gopher or puppy chew the polyethylene? Two-way compression couplings pictured above work wonders to repair these too-big-to-plug holes. Designed to join 2 tubings to extend lines, couplings come in 1/2″ or… Read More How to fix a big drip line hole
All those amazing agave and aloe pups! And the miraculous senecio, echeveria or graptopetalum cuttings! They are so tempting to propagate to extend a bed or add interest elsewhere. After all, they’re offspring of plants you love in your garden. And they’re free! Not so fast. They take water. And space. Space in a new… Read More Fight the ‘freebies’ urge
Like most gardeners, live and let live was my mantra. Scarce water has mutated that to live and let die so others can live. Plants must pass my litmus tests of 1) Does this give sufficient value in return for water used? and 2) Would I buy that for there again? If not, I murmur… Read More Live and let die
Irrigation is crucial when it seldom rains, and drip (unlike spray) is an effective mechanism to keep plants healthy with minimal waste. But it has some downsides, and now in our 6th year of a drought and 3rd of rationing, a gardener can either get creative or crazed. Drip is just that – a drip… Read More Offset drip’s downsides
With a heavy heart, I have come to the conclusion that sedum is not suited for waterwise gardens. Those in my prior gardens, such as Autumn Joy in Vermont, flourished, but ones I planted in Southern California’s dry climate wasted money, water, and time. I failed miserably with 4 varieties – Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’, lineare… Read More Now you sedum, now you don’t
Who would have thought waterwise gardening would at times take Holmesian sleuthing? Unexpected increase in a zone’s consumption, change in a plant’s health, or surface moistness are all signs of potential waste. Sometimes, the signs are oh-so-subtle. Take a case with 3 oddities that haunted me for 2 1/2 years: My hypersensitive nose smelled something… Read More Channel your inner Sherlock
In yet another dry summer in year 5 of a drought, I’m reminded how names influence perceptions and actions. Shakespeare’s Juliet argued “That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” Maybe for Romeo, but not for amorphous concepts to transform water-intensive landscapes. Take ‘drought-tolerant,’ the industry-standard coinage for… Read More What’s in a name?