Even a Sprinkle Is Welcome During Drought!
A few days after my last garden blog post, we received a tiny bit of rain: about a tenth of an inch. Even such a small amount was welcome to ease the drought we are facing here. The garden is still green–as is the norm for spring–but with only about 12.5 inches of rainfall this year, it will likely dry up to crackly brown before long unless we get any unusual late rains. (Hoping!)
Before the forecasted rain, we shored up our rainwater collection barrels. According to this site, you can expect about “600 gallons of water for every 1,000 square feet of roof area for every inch of rain”. My opinion is that rainwater collection is the most useful in climates that receive some rainfall throughout the year. However, with our severe drought, I’m for saving anything possible. Our metal roof seems to yield a small amount of dew as well. This drought inspired us to get some larger rainwater harvesting containers for future years.
I’m getting good at saving all sink water in buckets and using on landscaping plants, and minimizing water use in every way. We’ve put everything in the garden on drip irrigation.
Drip irrigation exceeds 90 percent efficiency, whereas sprinkler systems and hand watering are 50 to 70 percent efficient.http://sonomamg.ucanr.edu/Drip_Irrigation/
The May Garden
I had to give myself a week off of the blog because I’ve been so busy in the garden that I couldn’t keep up. But, I’m guessing all of us gardeners are in the same situation. It seems like the Twitter gardeners are less active now that spring is in full fever, so I expect I’m not the only one too busy in the garden to find time at the computer to post about it!
I’ve been outdoors so much that my gardeners tan is coming on quickly in its crazy-quilt design–according to whatever garden clothes I’ve worn.
The weather was warm this week and veggie seedlings just got planted out. In addition to my other garden journals, I keep a basic seasonal garden planning clipboard for where to plant which vegetable. See photo left. On it are our raised beds and a list of veggies that we often grow and how much–to remind me what to try to fit in. I keep the sheets from the seasons before so I can check back and rotate crops accordingly. If there is a multi-season crop growing, I make a note like “garlic ∆ lettuce” — which reads for me as “garlic changing to lettuce (after garlic is harvested)”. I also keep a printout of companion plants in the clipboard, to help give me interplanting ideas.
If I lived in a climate with year-round rainfall, great soil and no gophers, I’d probably grow a lot more veggies and share with as many people as possible. But everything here must be grown in gopher-protected raised beds and using well water during our dry summer climate. Happily, we do get some garden over-abundance at times, and it gives me joy to put out extras with a FREE sign to neighbors and passersby when that happens.
The May flowers are adorning the garden and the pipevine butterflies continue to be out in more numbers than we’ve ever seen, and some of the eggs have hatched into eensy caterpillars. Here’s the photo gallery for the May garden. Hope all of you are well and finding some joy in your gardens or nature spot or whatever brings you peace and happiness. Warmly, lisa