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Drought taking a toll.


By stan510


I’ve been posting pics of the potted plants..but the water bill is getting up there and so now the in ground plants are on there own the next two months.
Only a few shade plants in ground will get the minimum needed to get them to November rains- earlier would be nice.
I have to wonder how others are managing their valued collection all over the state?- there is a strong silence about who’s doing what with big collections and water.

Its making me think that a hobby I read decades ago was one that only asked for one of our cheapest “commodities,water” to make it popular. That’s not now.

The last time I dropped in at a nursery, there were large empty areas of plants. Walmart has closed its plant section- all the garden tools and what have you are gone.

Gas prices are way down— water is way up. A Crazy world.

More blog posts by stan510

Previous post: August,another year gone by. Time to take stock in what I have.

Next post: Bad September luck.



I said this years ago. Climate change bad? What if rainfall increased in the Sahara desert to the point where it started to green and shink allowing agriculture to be viable there. Since it is a climate change would one try to stop it to keep things the same to satisfy the old memory of an aging generation or the recent memory of a new one? Well it is starting to happen in the Sahara and it is starting to green. It is a bad time climatically for some who enjoy gardening and other water related endeavors but on the other hand there is perhaps a sign of hope for those who's endeavor is just to sustain their lives.

11 Sep, 2015


Its bad- there are dead lawns everywhere. Only in the wealthy areas do I see small lawns still green. Peer pressure not to break and have a dead lawn next to the Porsche cayenne. BUT- the city's landscaping in those brown and dying by the day. I saw small shrubs on my route- dead next to homes. Only the tree's seem perfect,and large shrubs are doing ok.
ALL else is on the way out.

12 Sep, 2015


I know it's becoming very serious and this drought might last a whole generation. If it lasts that long,one might see major population shifts and agriculture in the coffin.

12 Sep, 2015


May I bleat again about the wonderful job my 2 Gerbils are doing on this issue ? Every week I remove the chewed up plain brown cardboard and old wood shavings litter from the large fish tank they live in. I clean the glass, put new wood shavings in and new split brown cardboard for them to chew, which they love to do.
This old litter I will take out to the large plastic box by my greenhouse, add old potting compost, a jug of Blood Fish & Bone granules, one can of water, a jug of Horticultural Sand, give it a good mix, and leave it.

When the box is full I start using it to bed in my hardy plants and shrubs. They love it. When it rains this mixture absorbs and retains water for each plant.
If you dont want to keep Gerbils Stan you can get the same effect by buying small animal wood shavings packs at a pet shop, split and tear up the cardboard whilst watching T/V or get your family to do it for you. I find a
pair of curved nail scissors are easiest to use.

Its worth the effort to see perennial plants thriving in my sub-standard clay soil.

12 Sep, 2015


We've had a very dry hot summer here in New York, but it's all those big snow storms we had last winter that's saving us now.

12 Sep, 2015


Sorry to hear on the news about the wild fires. Hope you
and your family are safe.

12 Sep, 2015


Are water butts common in the US?
We don't (generally) have comparable droughts in the UK but most gardeners will invest in a water butt sooner or later - usually just after losing a favourite plant.

12 Sep, 2015


If you are talking about a tank that collects rain water.....well Stan has a problem, he has no rain to fill it. In general though, some do have one although most of us don't from my perspective.

12 Sep, 2015


I think they are starting to catch on. Some just put a rain barrel under the downspout, others have more sophisticated contraptions. Rain water is much better for plants because it's loaded with nitrogen from the upper atmosphere - where all the good stuff is.

12 Sep, 2015


Nobody in a city in the state has a real rain water catcher with multi thousand gallon storage. Anything less is of no use since winter rains would fill up a barrel in nothing flat. But,what use is a barrel of water in winter? In summer when you need water there is no rain. That's the problem with a Mediterranean climate. All the water falls when plants are dormant. Its what the whole state water system is based on..reservoirs and snow packs from distant mountains catch the rains and snow in winter and deliver down to the dry and warm flatlands.
One more year of drought- and no amount of portioning the water for plants. It will be just enough to have a glass of water,wash-up,and flush .Bare essentials.
The answer to the question,how many drought years to bring California to its knees? 5. We are on 4.

13 Sep, 2015


I hope the rains come soon. I heard talk about a pipeline from Oregon & Washington State. Is that viable?

13 Sep, 2015


Viable or not, the sun will burn all its hydrogen and helium fuel out and throw the planet earth into eternal darkness before the environmental impact studies on that water pipeline are completed.

13 Sep, 2015


The point of water butts is that you fill them in the wet months and use the water through the drier months - so "filling up in nothing flat" is what you want. Interesting that you think in "multi thousand gallons" - 'proper' underground rainwater harvester tanks are generally around 3000 litres but even a few water barrels would help your most precious plants survive the summer months - although many plants are more resilient than we give them credit for - and thousands of plants have actually evolved to survive in hot dry conditions.

13 Sep, 2015


Its been said- all the water collected over a winter from a roof here,wouldn't supply a garden for much more then 2 months longer then the rainy season. Leaving you 4 months to go.
Now,for off the gridders? sure,water strictly for utilities- even skipping the need for a toilet by using a composting commode.
But for the typical green California garden,most people don't have the room for water storage for what will be a long hot summers worth of watering. We will always need a snowpack for that,huge reservoirs for that.
Now,going native? Sure. That would be the only alternative and I wouldn't doubt 50 years from now all yards will be gone of the exotic subtropicals.
Then one yard will blend into the next and unity will rule.

15 Sep, 2015


I know exactly what you're saying because the historical, severe drought here in California is taking its toll. I have plants which I'm just barely keeping alive. We're only able to officially water plants/lawns for 5 minutes twice a week here in San Diego, CA. This isn't enough water for my tropical plants which need a lot more water than that.

Here in San Diego we were lucky enough to receive over an 1 inch of rain yesterday. This was thanks to remnants of Hurricane Linda. I hope we get the forecasted 200% of normal rainfall here...if not, I'm not sure what's going to happen. As you know the reservoirs in most of California are almost empty. What's not helping is that the weather has been so extremely hot and humid here.

Stan, we need to do a rain dance for the next several months! lol!

16 Sep, 2015


Its terrible is right. At least Andy we are seeing some changes in weather (other then another heat wave this weekend coming up) with rains falling far north and far south- missing me dang it.
Also,I just want urbanite to know that
I was quoting from memory what a local big time plant collector had said when he did research to see if he could maintain his plants on the extreme water limitations of his central California community. He was quoting contractors of costs of many 10s of thousand of dollars. At least he had a half acre,if he chose to spend that money to install cisterns. Plus the worry they might be filled in winter.

For the typical lot? Just not possible or reasonable.
He ended up selling and moving to Hawaii.

16 Sep, 2015


Was in Hawaii for a while in a military hospital and then R&R. There one can find it raining heavily on one side of the street and dry and sunny on the other, you just have to know which side of the street to put your plants on so they can get watered:)

16 Sep, 2015


Amazing that a little island like Hawaii can have millions of people that can use all the water they want.

Here also- Those community's that cut their water use? In todays paper..their rates will go up 7% in a month because the water district says it needs to charge more for less water used so they can pay employee's and of course maintenance.

Those restructuring of tiers give me tears-ha.

Kurt Vonnegut is giving them the finger from his grave!

16 Sep, 2015



That's really not true. Hawaii has had some bad droughts, also. Luckily, all the Hawaiian Islands have a wet set. I know Honolulu (where I'm from) has had water restrictions in the past (of course not like in California, though).

17 Sep, 2015


Delonix1. I was sent to Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu to be treated for battle injuries I got in the Korean War. They painted that hospital Pink (UGH!) Would you happen to know if it is still that color?

17 Sep, 2015


Tripler Hospital has always been that coral pink. It's still the same. I think it's their signature color.

18 Sep, 2015


Thank you very much for your answer Delonix1.

18 Sep, 2015


You're welcome.

19 Sep, 2015

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