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iGROW’s Latest Blogs from Wendy and Sara



So Beautiful and So Dry
January 15, 2014 By: Sara


It is hard not to appreciate these warm beautiful days though I know most of wish it was raining. Its been a long time since I have had to stay inside all day because of rain. Last weekend’s rain barely did anything for our rain numbers. I think we all need to start planning for how to reduce water in our homes. I think growing food is still a good use of water but we may want to look at our ornamentals and our lawns pretty seriously. It is great year to put in a laundry to landscape greywater system and water those landscape plants with used water!


With this warm spell, I have started planting spring vegetables early. I usually wait until the first warm spell in late January or early February to plant my first crops but this week is so warm that I decided to start now. I think you could try planting arugula, Asian greens like mizuna and tatsoi, kale, lettuce, spinach and peas. What happens in February weather wise may make some of these plants struggle some or need some cover but if it stays relatively warm you may have a great early year. Early planting is dependent on soil temperature, many plants simply won’t germinate unless the soil is warmer than 40 degrees. That is why this warm spell is a good time to get things to germinate. Early spring plantings are always pretty high risk due to birds, slugs and irregular weather, you may have to replant. Also protect from birds with soil fabric or strawberry baskets covering young plants and sprinkle some Sluggo around new plantings.


It is so dry out that you need to keep an eye on pots and raised beds. Most ground soil is moist enough, but you might want to check that also. Giving things a bit of water might be necessary. Mulched areas should not need water as the little bit of moisture there is usually stays in the ground.


A reminder as you are beginning to plant your spring gardens…READ MORE





Planning, Pruning, and Still Praing for Rain
January 1, 2014 By: Wendy

Happy New Year!


We start this year with unprecedented garden conditions. People are asking – how much to water now? Should I prune my fruit trees? Should I even have a garden this year?


It’s possible that we could still get significant rain in the next few months. Or we could be in what’s being called a “megadrought”cycle, with little rain coming for several years. Our garden – and county wide -planning would be wise to be prepared for the extended drought potential. If little rain comes soon, major water conservation will be needed by everyone.


Yes, I think we should still grow some vegetables and keep food producing perennials alive. In addition to all the water conserving tips Sara and I have been mentioning in previous blogs, (and summarized in Water-wise Food Gardening ), this year’s garden planning should include even more water conserving measures. Last month I suggested installing a grey water system,greywater system and Greywater Action. I’m a renter so can’t do this, but I am willing to haul some 5 gallon buckets from the shower/bathtub to my garden. And although most rainwater catchment systems can’t hold enough water to last very long, some 5 gallon buckets and or larger barrels can at least capture a bit more of any rain we get. Please see Residential Rainwater Management for more information on making the most of whatever rain we do receive.


Normally at this time of year I’m advocating…READ MORE



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