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
Want to radically increase water effectiveness at no cost? Rather than run a zone for its total time, divide duration into 2 or 3 parts separated by a brief respite. This cycle and soak technique minimizes runoff and maximizes absorption. Since implementing it 2 years ago in my one-acre Southern California garden, it has proven… Read More Cycle and soak gardens
Ever wonder why some plants survive and even thrive with little water, high heat, and intense sun, while others struggle and die? The answer lies in their anatomical characteristics. Plants dubbed ‘’drought-tolerant,’ or what Sunset Western Gardening Book terms ‘water-wise,’ need little supplemental watering. Broadly speaking, these troopers have adapted their biology to: store water… Read More Choose wise plants wisely
Dry-climate gardens depend on you, the gardener, for sustenance. To calculate supplemental water provided in drip irrigation, begin with this formula: Drip Intake = Emitter size X Number of emitters X Run time X Run Frequency Emitters, regardless of design type, disperse water at a controlled rate from drip lines to plant material. Sizes range… Read More Calculate drip intake
Garden guides, both online and printed, specify plant height, width, exposure, and water needs. Some even list soil conditions or vary water needs by specific geography. What is missing, though, is water per square foot, the single-most revealing sustainable gardening metric. While water use of an individual plant matters to overall consumption, my analysis these… Read More Gauge plants by water/sq. ft.
Want to be more sustainable? Do less. Less-thirsty or fewer plants, no or greatly reduced lawn, and less frequent or shorter watering. Embrace this strategy and you’ll build capacity to endure a drought, leave more for the next generation, AND save water, maintenance, and waste. A garden\garden case study by the City of Santa Monica… Read More Do less to get more