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Water is available to summer-dry gardens as winter rain or summer irrigation. It is a precious resource that needs to be used wisely.

15 11, 2021

What is a Drought-Tolerant Plant?

2021-11-15T19:38:45-08:00Categories: Blog, Climate, Water|Tags: , , |

Many plants are advertised or described as drought-tolerant, but what, if anything, does that tell us? Drought-tolerant where? Drought-tolerant when? Drought-tolerant if . . . what? By now, with unusually dry weather increasingly common worldwide, most gardeners likely are aware that drought itself may be defined in different ways, depending on one's perspective. Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon) At the risk of oversimplifying, meteorological drought is lower than normal precipitation. Hydrological drought is lower than normal streamflow or groundwater levels. Agricultural drought is inadequate soil moisture for specific crops. Socioeconomic drought is insufficient water supply to meet demand. Ecological drought is insufficient

19 05, 2021

Climate Change and Water Supply

2021-05-19T05:29:36-07:00Categories: Blog, Climate, Nora Harlow, Water|Tags: , |

Global temperatures have been rising at least since the middle of the last century, and most projections anticipate that this trend will continue. Effects of warming vary from one region of the world to another but prominently include the likelihood that precipitation will shift from snow to rain in many snow-fed watersheds. It is also likely that snow will melt faster and run off earlier, changing the timing of peak streamflow. Snow is an important, even critical, seasonal water source for many regions with large mountain ranges, including most summer-dry climates. Snowpack accumulates in the mountains in winter when demand

3 02, 2017

Is The Drought Over ?

2017-02-03T17:27:34-08:00Categories: Blog, Water|

It has been raining like crazy in California this winter.  Or rather, it has ben raining like a normal winter. In a summer-dry climate we expect it to be winter wet. But is the California drought over ? Here is a map showing the overall change in exactly one year, since February 2, 2016. California drought map January 31 2016 - Feb 2 2017; While it has been a dramatic change it its not over; Southern California is still below average.  Although there is above average snowpack in the mountains, which will insure adequate water, the State is still experiencing water

3 12, 2014

The Summer-Dry Garden

2021-03-16T15:07:49-07:00Categories: Water|Tags: , |

Summer-dry gardens can be beautiful.  The art and science of gardening is learning which plant prosper in garden settings. Many plants are meant for summer-dry climates and don’t need lots of water, though careful irrigation improves their beauty. I do water my own California garden in summer; and so does every farm and every garden – all summer.  It simply doesn’t rain.  The irrigation water has to come from somewhere, other than a faucet.

29 09, 2014

Drought Tolerant is Irrelevant

2021-03-16T15:15:03-07:00Categories: Blog, Water|Tags: |

All plants are drought tolerant in their native habitat and no plant can live without water. No matter where a garden is located, the tropics or the desert, the plants in that garden should naturally tolerate periods of lower than average water.  They may thrive with supplemental water during dry periods but the term “drought tolerant” can be very misleading, especially in summer-dry climates.

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