Gardening benefits of a hot-summer climate

Every August, I curse the summer. I grow tired of the heat and I wish I lived at the beach again. Last week, I wrote an email to the host of my favorite garden show asking for encouragement in this season of discomfort. Don Shor hosts the Davis Garden Show alongside...

How to cope with a heat wave

Just as there’s always a cold snap or two every winter, we get a couple heat waves every summer that challenge the plants. We just made it through a second August heat wave, where five days were over 95°. Two weeks ago we had four days over 95° and a new daily...

Rain met drought, drought doesn’t care

It seems a tautology that rain reduces drought. Yet our water picture is so surreal that the National Weather Service just said, “. . . local rainfall in Southern California does not necessarily help the drought situation.” How so? It hinges on the meaning...

What if we lived off rainfall alone?

Just out of curiousity, how far off is our current water usage from the amount of rain that falls on us? Our land is 1.32 acres, and the average rainfall here is 16 inches. This means that an average of 573,150 gallons of rain fall on the land each year. Our roof...

The New Year’s 2015 Freeze

On the eve of the winter solstice, December 20, I got to thinking about how warm it had been. We still hadn’t had anything near a frosty morning. The winter before (2013-2014) we had some chilly nights in late November and our coldest spell of the whole winter...

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