Severe choices in the garden during a drought

Susan Clark has been using her water for years. She killed her lawn eight years ago during the last drought, and now her garden is serving the wildlife.

This year’s rainfall is about a third of the average. That follows the 2019-2020 drought, the third drought in the Russian Basin in 127 years. And gardeners like Clark, who have taken steps to adapt their gardens to California’s dry summer climate, are losing new ways to conserve water.

Some are making difficult decisions about what kind of plants and trees to water and what to die for, or hoping for a second year of drought. And some are brutally re-evaluating — even uprooting — nested gardens.

“Climate change is here, and I hope it’s not too late,” said Clark, president of Somama County Gardener and president of the Petaluma Gardening Club. The weather in California is very depressing. How can I maintain my irrigation when there is not enough water for cows and agriculture? But I hope (farmers) take action to save water.

Already thriving, Clark has taken a step further this year by cutting as much as you can to get less water.

It’s not too hard, because you don’t have to take more than 30% or you will kill it. But I use them less and less, ”she said. “Anyway, I cut my salvage to my Manizanians, who don’t use much water. I cut Lavan and pineapple guava. The smaller the plant, the less water it needs. ”

Clark’s plants and trees not only beautify the landscape but also serve a great purpose. In the heart of the old petaluma, the town’s garden outside Victoria’s home is filled with rented plants, giving honey to birds and butterflies and bees. She pulls out all the weeds so her precious water only goes to useful plants.

It continues to reduce irrigation. Three times a week, she was reduced from 15 minutes to 10 minutes three days a week and then to 10 minutes twice a week.

And now I immediately turned it off. To see how they work. But I expect them to be fine. ”

To maintain the moisture content of the soil for as long as possible, everything has been severely depleted. She has destroyed the source of the jewelry in front of her, but she has a full back because birds and pollen need something to drink.

Set priorities

Enthusiastic Rosario Barbara Ellis says she has never easily switched to her summer irrigation program. She is now using as much water as she did in the winter. But she has set priorities. Her roses come first.

“I have an Australian tree; the leaves look very bad.”

Some plants near the roses reap the benefits of that main real estate.

Ellis was far from the 250-year-old caretaker in Denvilleville before moving to a tract house in the old part of Rosary Park. Due to a severe drought, she stopped planting in her backyard. Young plants need more water until their roots are firmly established.

“Literally, all I have to do is move the plants. It will not do me any good until they see good rain this year. ”

Like many loving gardeners, Ellis, president of the Redwood Empire Rose Society, says she wants to reduce her indoor water supply rather than endanger her roses. She has already passed. She remembers being a young mother in 1976-77, when the North Bay suffered a very dry year. That year, Santa Rosa received only 9.47 inches of rain. The average annual rainfall is 32.2 inches.

“I don’t wash a lot of clothes,” she says. I take 10 days instead of seven before I change my sheets.

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