In summer, keeping a vegetable garden well watered means keeping an open tap like you haven’t seen since your last kegger in college. But if you live in California, the little rainfall we see in winter can make it seem like summer year-round. And that makes our finite resource ever more precious in spite of the few rainstorms that did pass through in December.
Since 2011, California has become increasingly thirsty, with 80 percent of the state suffering extreme to exceptional drought. A recent scientific study found that the last 3 years of drought in California were the most severe conditions ever experienced in the last 1,200 years. And it’s looking like another dry year ahead.
For those of us in urban areas, it’s sometimes hard to wrap our heads around the fact that our water supply is dwindling. After all, we simply turn on the tap and water magically falls, as much as we’d like. But I think a lot of gardeners (especially edible gardeners) feel the struggle, financially and emotionally, every time a new seed is sowed or another bounty is brought in.
In a conservation-conscious area, this could mean a bit of creative planning, cutting back on raised beds or finding ways to reuse gray water. But irrigate your garden right, and your crops can continue to drink up without exceeding your city’s water restrictions. In fact, you’ll be able to tend your vegetable garden while saving water at the same time.