As we head into what could become an epochal drought, despite recent welcome rains, vegetable gardeners are feeling the uncertainty. Will water restrictions snuff out the salad garden, bash beans and thwart tomato dreams?
We do know that it is typical for Central California to have great variations in annual rainfall. Our location between a wetter north and a desert south puts us at the mercy of small shifts in weather. Those of us who were living in California during the mid-’70s drought, which is about half the number of people living here now, remember the anxiety and water restrictions then. That drought did end, as did some smaller droughts later. But if climate change is under way, who knows how this one will turn out? While we can’t know what is in store, we can plan this year’s garden with care.
By all accounts, we’ve been, overall, very good at saving water in recent decades. Now it’s time to rededicate ourselves to conservation.
There are good reasons to grow your own vegetables and herbs. You can do so using much less water than the average large-scale farm; you save the Earth part of the carbon cost of transporting your food, and it will probably inspire you to eat more vegetables.
Read more tips on drought gardening from the original article in the SF Chronicle (February 2014) here.