Many gardening trends come and go. But a mud garden? It’s not a thing yet. Showing off carefully curated puddles of mud and bragging about stagnant mosquito breeding areas will unlikely top the list of Bay Area gardening trends. While Californians have taken the time to prepare for extended dry periods, few of us are adequately ready to take on a deluge of rain.
Overly wet gardens produce a host of problems. If plants are left in standing pools of water, they can develop root rot. Add to this a shopping list of fungal maladies that can affect your overly wet garden’s health, and we see can see why a soaking wet garden can be a problem.
In this post, you will learn to identify the signs of too much water. We’ll also explore some simple solutions to solve the problems that come with an unusually wet weather cycle.
Measure Up Before You Plop Seeds Down
How much space and water do I need to support my vegetable habit? This is hard to pin down as the size of vegetables and water consumption for each type varies greatly. As an easy rule of thumb, most tables and charts will recommend an inch of water per week for your veggies. Now, how much space do you need to grow those dinner delights? Luckily we found a chart that will help you plan and execute the proper garden size for your vegetable crop. You can check out this handy guide from Morning Chores.
In The Bay Area, we are fortunate to have relatively steady weather patterns. The cool Pacific Ocean varies only a few degrees throughout the year. The result is a deep, blue weather regulator that keeps temperatures and precipitation rather steady.
However, as we’ve seen through El Nino and La Nina cycles, the Golden State can experience long periods of excess rain, or conversely prolonged drought. In 2010 The City received 29 inches of rain while just three years later 2013 saw a mere five inches.
Ensure your lawn lives, treat every year like a drought year
The concept of a steady “average rainfall” is misleading. For example, 2016 saw 32.34 inches of rain while the following year only 17.53 inches fell. Of course, we do not control these variances in rainfall. The best we can do is adapt. And one way to adapt is to treat each year like it’s going to be a drought year when it comes to your lawn.
There are several ways for your lawn to survive a drought. It just depends on how much work you’re willing to put in for your beloved patch of green. Choosing the right species of grass, maintaining pr
Few places on earth host such a wide range of microclimates as San Francisco. A trip out west to Ocean Beach often requires you to don both hoodie and hat, while six miles east shorts and a t-shirt are enough to keep you comfortable. Between these east and west extremes, a spine of 40 hills divides the City by the Bay. Within this raised area alternating pockets of sun and fog ensure the City maintains its title as microclimate capital of the world.
Knowing your microclimate will help you in deciding which plants work best in your garden. For example, a moisture-dependent shady fern will wilt and suffer on a sun-exposed Mission district patio. But the same plant will thrive in the foggy mist of the outer avenues. But we’ll address the specifics of this topic in a related post.
Homeowners maintain millions of acres of grass. But lawns have become somewhat of a punching bag in these times of drought and growing environmental awareness. Due to past pesticide, herbicide and watering methods, much of this abuse is well-deserved. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We want lawns to become a symbol, not of suburban excess, but instead a badge of conservation and wise-use. Did you know you don’t have to jump on the chemical bandwagon or use half the Sierra snowmelt to keep your lawn happy? It’s true. To have a beautiful yard, try these tips that include things like protein-based fertilizers, humus and mulch. Power to the new lawns of California!
Your garden’s a great source of food. But with recurring drought, it can be hard to justify watering that head of lettuce each day. To bring a tomato from seed to salad saps more water than a comparable measure of almonds. Simple steps like planting shorter season crops and drought resistant veggies will help your household consume less water. Another big helper is mulch. With a simple 3”-4” inch layer of mulch, you can ensure the soil beneath stays moist and nutrient rich. In addition, a simple dash of compost will help boost the yield of even the smallest of gardens.
The devil is in the details, or potash in this case. By now we’ve received advice from the neighbor, corner store clerk and that one barista. Everyone has a theory on perfect organic maintenance. You might be scratching your head and muttering “but how exactly?” Everyone loves to throw around the term organic on the internet, but how to achieve organic care and with what compounds is elusive. Well, here we’ve found a great resource listing everything from kelp meal to granite dust. And if you don’t live near a quarry or the sea, you can find muriate of potash at your local nursery. Read on to expand your knowledge of organic potash sources.
Stop running to the store for herbs when you need them. Having fragrant cooking ingredients at hand will make sprucing up any dish, iced drink or snack, quick and easy. With this guide, we learn how to make an attractive, accessible and tasty herb garden with just a few repurposed household items (or new if you don’t have them laying around). Using an old metal tub or bucket, chalkboard, sticks, potting soil, duct tape (yes, there’s always duct tape) you can keep the herbs nearby at all times. And by using the chalkboard swatches, you’ll be able to keep track of what’s planted where.
Ever heard of sheep fescue, buffalograss or bahiagrass? As the days of wasteful lawn watering go the way of programmable VCRs, we found an article that celebrates several drought-resistant strains of grass and how to care for them. This list of grasses includes helpful cultural practices like deep, infrequent watering and changes to mowing habits. The best way to plan for California’s frequent water shortages is to frame drought years as the new norm. And part of that planning includes choosing a drought-resistant grass.