California Drought Gardening


What a way to start the New Year!  California is nowhere near the amount of rain and snow levels so that the state can shake this drought.  Tune into any news broadcast, and there is always some weatherperson who thinks that rain is right around the corner.  There is rain promised sometime in the next few days, but it’s not going to be enough.

This 2014 drought seems worse than the last one that occurred in 1977.  Residents are asked to conserve water, and a lot of Californians are doing just that.  I lived through the 1977 drought, but I continue to conserve water.  Drought or no drought–we all need our precious water.

How Does Your Garden Grow During a Period of Drought?

If California does not get any rain soon, water will be rationed.  There may be fines for wasting water.  Fishing will be banned.  The California landscape is parched, and bodies of water are drying up.  I’ve been through this process in the past, and I am willing to do it again because I have no choice.

As much as I like to garden, I have no problem giving it up so that some water can be saved.  I planted onions and garlic in the fall.  They don’t need a lot of water, and the crop will be ready to harvest in May or June.  I’m not planting anything else.  Instead of growing our own vegetables, me and Mister Jack will purchase produce from the farmers market.  At least, we will be supporting several farmers.


Letting the Lawn Die

I never liked lawns because they are a waste of water, fertilizer and time.  Mister Jack wanted to put in a front lawn this year.  Luckily, he didn’t have the time or the cash to do it.  I don’t know anyone who has a sprinkler system that is set to the required watering days of Sacramento County.  People water their lawns when they want to.  And most of the time, they over-water.


The Positive Side of Drought

Going through a drought forces any gardener to take a good, hard look at the home landscaping.  What type of plants, shrubs and trees can survive a drought?  I have a goal to make my surroundings bulletproof in a drought situation.  I want plants, shrubs and trees that don’t need a lot of watering.  Being retired, I don’t want to spend a lot of time looking after high-maintenance plants that require lots of water and fertilizer.  I have a lot of planning to do.




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