Sow There!: Garden habits: Did the drought change your life? 5-10-18

PUBLISHED: May 10, 2018 I’m curious if anyone else is sticking with those water-saving lifestyle changes we made during the most recent long, miserable drought.

I know my friend Jim had his lawn hauled away in a dump truck and replaced it with wood chips. He planted less thirsty plants, installed a drip line and sold his lawnmower on Craigslist. My mom and my friend Bitz did the same. Countless others cashed in on rebates for low-flow appliances and toilets.

Those permanent changes to turf and machinery will continue to create water savings until today’s homes fall down and are replaced by high-rise condos.

Other folks I know bought rain barrels, or built them based on YouTube videos.

During the drought, water leaders talked about teaching people new habits and changing the way we live life as we know it.

Statewide we had a great public relations campaign with a temporary outcome. Or did we?

I still have a five-gallon bucket in my shower. I know that’s weird, but it doesn’t bother me and I live alone. After a shower, I have enough water to pour into the toilet and save a single flush. I’m glad I don’t have a thirsty dog who likes to lap up soapy water.

Yet, before you give me a mental high-five, I need to admit that I planted grass seed and am currently watering my lawn once a week.

When I need to mow the lawn I grunt and grumble and wonder why I did not stick with the wisdom of the drought propaganda.

Please share

What’s up with water in your life? Have you made lingering changes? Are you back to pre-drought habits? What’s changed? Any regrets?

Disappearing kale

I’ve talked about the lush green kale that’s been growing in the black plastic truck bed liner where I grow things. Now that I learned to strip out the stems and massage kale with a little olive oil, I should be pale green from eating so much iron-enriched greenery. I shared the news with friends on social media and repeatedly offered the leafy stuff to my friend Anjanette.

Anji is about as busy as I am and the kale remained in my back yard.

My friend is the type of friend who will say no when offered a favor, but will always come through when she is asked a favor.

In this case, I desperately needed cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls for an engineering design lesson in my kindergarten class. When Anji dropped by my doorstep to deliver the goods, she remembered that she could grab some kale.

The thing is, she didn’t have any scissors.

When I watered the kale that afternoon I thought the raised bed had been rampaged by gophers. Entire plants were gone. That’s how gophers work. They yank at things 14 times their size and leave nothing in return.

Did my friend take the entire plant?


I wasn’t upset. Actually, I was relieved gophers had not found a way to infiltrate the plastic truck bed liner. It was just that yanking the entire plant wasn’t the way I would have done things.

Then I realized this was the push I needed. Each day that goes by it is bugs that are devouring my kale jungle, not gophers. I check each leaf at harvest, and these days about one in four has a colony of tiny critters. I smoosh the leaves together to stop the life cycle, but this is time consuming, and frankly rather gross.

Anji was right. It’s time to say goodbye to the kale and make room for something new.

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