Even in drought, just a few garden plants can multiply, May 28, 2015

This bed liner was laying around pretty much serving no purpose.Contributed photo

I don’t know about you, but I’m not particularly fond of living within a budget.

My boyfriend will confirm that I also do not particularly enjoy being told what to do.

Beginning with our next water bills, all households in California will have a new “water budget.”

None of this should be a big surprise, because the entire state has been talking about water, and the lack thereof, for several years.

What’s new is that we will have an actual number; we can officially see the expectation the leaders of California have for our particular family.

I think I’m not boasting by saying I’m doing my part. I write all these drought tips, and it would feel hypocritical not to live (mostly) by the words I write.bilde

If Gov. Brown was going door-to-door handing out gold stars, I think we’d get a shiny sticker at our house.

If Gov. Brown asked to use our bathroom we would also politely ask him to take it outside.

There he would find that half our lawn is the tawny color of the summer hills of Zamora, and the remainder of the lawn is watered once a week.

Change in plans

My beau and I talked about not having a garden this year. That’s how I remember the conversation.

We already have too many plants.

If we grew tomatoes, for example, we would only grow a few bowls from a few plants.

We like going to the farmers market. We can buy vegetables at the market.

Let’s leave it to the pros.

However, one day we were innocently visiting Costco for free snacks on a Friday and three one-gallon tomato plants fell into the cart.o e

What would fresh, home-grown tomatoes be without some fresh basil? The best way to have fresh basil is to grow it right outside the front door.

One jalapeño in a pot would really make the ensemble. Its just one more plant, which can be watered when we are hitting the tomato plants with the water saved from rinsing vegetables in the sink.


One day I spent the day away from the house and returned to find a garden bed filled with soil.

The “bed’ is actually the black plastic bed liner of an old diesel truck.

For a variety of reasons, we had one of these black plastic containers sitting on the tawny, dry portion of the lawn.

My guy is right, of course. If we’re planting tomatoes, jalapeños and basil in pots, we might as well have some squash and eggplant in another (large) container.

We also hope the bed liner will solve the problem of the overabundance of moles, gophers and voles in the yard. Unless the feline unit picks up these critters and gingerly sets them inside the new garden bed, the underground intruders should stay away from the new raised soil.

To help with drainage, my guy placed the bed liner at a slight angle, elevated on an old railroad tie (see pictures).

We’ll see how it all goes. So far, there are no drainage holes in the bottom and we’ve been watering just enough that no water runs down the empty side of the bed liner.

After looking at the photos, I realize we also need to cover the soil with a thick layer of mulch.

Right now, the bed liner is only half-way full. We’ll see if we have enough self control to leave it that way.

For more inane prattle, check out my blog at www.norcalblogs.com/sowthere. Other contacts, @HeatherHacking on Twitter and Facebook.

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