Can we “beat” the heat and drought? No, accommodation is more like it


Here’s an excellent summary of drought-beating gardening practices by Joel Lerner for the Washington Post.


  1. Sigh. My gardens are very sad right now, but extensive supplemental watering is just not on the menu. There’s too much out there to even begin such a project. Just impossible. Plus, I’m on a well and it behooves one to not waste well water during a drought. I haven’t implemented California flushing rules yet, but if we don’t get a tropical storm soon, that’s on the menu. I have rain barrels and mulch and design beds and select plants with the no-additional water rule in mind, but that’s about it. The only things that get supplemental water right now are (1) containers (primarily from rain barrels) (2) trees and shrubs in the ground for 2 years or less (long soaking from a slow drip on the hose about once a week) and (3) anything that’s a particularly valued plant for whatever reason and seriously wilting might get a bucket from the rainbarrels or a count to fifty from the hose (this includes a few newer perennials, my blueberries and a couple of pepper plants but does not include plants like rudbeckia ‘goldsturm’ or monarda since even if some of that dies I’ll still have more than I need next year).

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