Binge-watch season of House of Cards? Or binge-read tomes on gardening in dry climates? Coupled with on-site research, my waterwise landscaping crash courses these past 2 years were fueled by scouring the internet, buttonholing experts, and attending classes. I digested Western and California books in my library, and drilled deep into 72 more. Aha moments… Read More Binge-reading revelations
Normally needing little if any irrigation, trees are easy to overlook as gardeners adapt to lack of water. Yet trees are inarguably gardens’ most important living elements, and a drought imperils their very existence. Job #1 should be to save trees, not water. Consider trees’ riches. Beyond their natural beauty, they reduce energy use by… Read More Remember the trees
OK, so we all know drought-tolerant plants are a sustainability winner. But do you know three other winners? These four distinctive strategies combine to optimize plant types and quantities, setting the course for water efficiency: Drought-tolerant plants Plant placement Water/square foot Plant removal It’s a mystery why only one of these four – drought-tolerant plants… Read More Four winning plant strategies
Dry-climate landscaping in general, amid a drought in particular, perpetuates a surprising number of myths and misconceptions. Ten of the most common ones are listed below, followed by the facts with links to more details. The sooner these myths are debunked, the sooner more gardens will become sustainable. Myth #1. The current weather pattern is… Read More Top 10 myths, dispelled
While most expert sources recommend extra emitters on thirstier plants, many claim a system’s emitters must all have the same flow rate. In fact, as I discovered last year, tailoring emitter number AND flow rate is a conservation and horticulture win-win. Plants, exposure, and soil vary markedly within residential irrigation zones. As WUCOLS III (Water… Read More Tailor emitter flow rates too
Plant removal is a savvy, albeit unorthodox, sustainability move. Some plants make you smile, and some bestow privacy or structure. Others take resources week in and week out, giving little in return. We have too little water for competing needs. That imbalance is analogous to too little income for clashing expenses, or too few hours… Read More Purge the garden
The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that landscape irrigation accounts for almost one-third of all residential water use, with families in dry climates such as the Southwest using twice that of their counterparts. Irrigating our lawns and gardens consumes nearly 9 billion gallons/day, of which an astonishing 50% is wasted due to inefficiency: The… Read More Water, water, where are you?