In many ways, this year four of the drought in California feels like the first bad year. This has been the year of mandated cutbacks for people in my water district. Our water agencies have been asked by the Governor of California to reduce output by 20 to 25% ( I'm too lazy to check the exact percentage) and I read in the paper that during the month of June we were successful at doing that. Confession: I didn't actually read the article. Just the headline. But hooray for us, I guess. As someone who believes in conservation of resources I can celebrate that.
But as a gardener, I have to admit I hate having to conserve water by not watering my lawn and plants. It’s become vogue to “let your grass go gold” but there’s nothing that causes the gardener in me more dissonance than dead, crunchy grass and sad, wilting plants.
|My side yard hasn't been watered all summer|
because the spray from the sprinklers frequently
lands on the driveway - a big no-no.
The other day my daughter and I went to the backyard and played this complicated game with a balloon that we call “Don’t Let it Hit the Ground.” In this game, the main objective is to hit the balloon to the other person and that person is responsible for not letting the balloon hit the ground. It’s a challenging game of physical endurance and mental fortitude under normal circumstances but in this drought we have the extra obstacle of dealing with balloons that hit parched grass that has grown hard and sharp. I kid you not, we popped three balloons by letting them hit the ground before we postponed the game for a lack of rain delay.
Right now I’m allowed to water my lawn on Saturday mornings before 6:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m. and that’s it. I’m allowed to water my plants and trees with drip irrigation 3 days a week. Now you might be thinking that watering your lawn correctly once a week should still allow for a lawn to be relatively green. And you’d be correct. However, there are large sections of my yard where the sprinklers either don’t reach or provide inadequate/inconsistent coverage and the result is an unappealing mishmash of green and gold on the level of what the Green Bay Packers uniforms look like. But less green and less gold. So, not really like the Packers uniforms at all, I guess.
|It looks like a river of gold running through the back yard.|
|The last thing I planted: ground cover of Dwarf Mondo Grass with three Japanese maples and a Dogwood. |
I covered this part of the lawn with a thick mulch of leaves last fall and that killed most of the grass.
|The hope is that the mondo grass will form a thick, green carpet that takes significantly less water than normal grass would.|
|A typical Sacramento front yard. I suspect this particular neighbor is happy about the drought because this is how his yard looked even before we had water restrictions. Now he fits right in and looks like a model citizen!|
From my tone, you might have guessed it: someone turned me in. I'm waiting for a visit from the Water Resources Board any day now. I'll be happy to show them the timer schedule for my sprinklers though.
In the meantime, I'm going to wash my car. That always makes it rain. Oh wait, we're not allowed to wash our cars anymore. Well, maybe it's time to brush up on my rain dancing.