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Contra Costa Drought Tips

For perspective on drought

The 2011-2016 drought was hardly the first time Californians have felt such climate effects.  Here's an article from a 1977 issue of Pacific Horticulture that helps put things in perspective and gives wonderful guidance on how our climate should inform our gardens and landscapes.

Wondering about drought?

During 2011 to 2016 California experienced an unprecedented drought, eventually necessitating mandatory statewide water use cutbacks of 25%.  Even though we've gotten more reasonable rainfall for the past two winters, it looks increasingly likely that periodic, severe, and perhaps even lengthier drought conditions will become the "new normal" for our state.

Gardeners need to continually re-evaluate everything about their gardening, from plant selection, to irrigation methods, to the amount of garden and landscape we actually maintain. The tip sheets here will help you maximize your irrigation efficiency and keep your garden alive.

Your Landscape During Drought - How to strategically maintain your landscape during a drought.
Your Irrigation System During Drought - How to use water more efficiently in your landscape & garden.
Your Food Garden During Drought - How to be water-wise and successful growing a food garden during drought.
Your Lawn During Drought - Helpful tips relating to your lawn and conserving water.
Drought Care for Trees - More info specifically on tree care.
Our Blog discussion about Smart Controllers

Want a quick and easy fix? 

Many of us have areas of lawn that serve no particular purpose.  Try sheet mulching unused turf to save water and improve the soil at the same time.  Here's a StopWaste.org handout depicting basic sheet mulching.  And, another handout on a single page.

What about my tomatoes?

Love the tomatoes you can get at our annual Great Tomato Plant Sale?  Here are some tips for growing tomatoes successfully in drought conditions:

Dry Farming Tomatoes

Tomatoes & Drought in Contra Costa

Drought-Afflicted Soil