Gardening during drought, semiarid conditions

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Drought Protection on a Budget « Sustainable Sources. This article first appeared in the Austin American Statesman. by John Gleason As the weather turns warmer, landscapes are breaking their winter dormancy and waking up to a powerful thirst.

Drought Protection on a Budget « Sustainable Sources

Although the current drought has been especially tough on ranchers and farmers, homeowners are to feeling the pinch too. Many are turning to local irrigation contractors, who are scrambling to fulfill an overload of requests for sprinkler system installations and repairs. Used efficiently, automatic watering systems are a powerful tool for dry weather. Be Water-Thrifty Don’t make the mistake of watering too often and not deeply enough. Good Investments Purchase a moisture meter and soil analysis for your landscape. Mind Your Soil Most soils could use the addition of large amounts of organic matter. Go easy on the chemical fertilizers, especially during extended dry weather. Mulch When mowing your lawn, use “Don’t Bag It” principles. With a little research, you may be able to locate a free source of mulch. Mr. Smarty Plants - List of native perennial Texas flowers. Ask Mr.

Mr. Smarty Plants - List of native perennial Texas flowers

Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants. Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page. rate this answer 135 ratings Monday - March 13, 2006 From: Leander, TXRegion: SouthwestTopic: WildflowersTitle: List of native perennial Texas flowersAnswered by: Nan Hampton and Dean Garrett Good day, I am searching for a list of native Texas flowers (preferably perennials) for a flower garden.

Living in Leander, you'll have many plant options to choose from. Flame Acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii)Texas Lantana (Lantana urticoides)Rose Pavonia (Pavonia lasiopetala) You can look for nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants and seeds in the National Suppliers Directory. More Wildflowers Questions Will the new bluebonnet plants survive the winter?

5 Best Flowering Perennials for Austin — J Peterson Garden Design. We all know that fall is the best time to plant perennials, right?

5 Best Flowering Perennials for Austin — J Peterson Garden Design

So if you’re an Austin gardener and you’ve suffered through the Summer of Hell ’11 (we should have T-shirts made), you might be reconsidering what plants to put in the ground now. They’ve gotta be tough, drought tolerant, relatively pest-and-disease free, and oh yeah—really, really pretty! Are there such plants in existence? Why, yes, there are!

Here are my top 5 go-to flowering perennials for Austin–plant these and you’ll be a happy camper. Mexican Bush Sage: (Salvia leucantha) Truly one of my favorites! What are your favorite flowering plants for Austin? You might also enjoy these articles: Tagged as: Austin perennials, batface cuphea, drought tolerant plants, globe mallow, Mexican bush sage, Mexican mint marigold, perennials, xeriscaping, yellow bells. Outstanding Perennials for Texas. For a sustainable water culture. Greywater irrigated landscapeGreywater is water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines.

For a sustainable water culture

It is not water that has come into contact with feces, either from the toilet or from washing diapers. Greywater may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain household cleaning products. While greywater may look “dirty,” it is a safe and even beneficial source of irrigation water in a yard. There are many simple, economical ways to reuse greywater in the landscape. Www.austinchronicle.com/issues/spec/greenbuild/greywater.html. Greywater by Suzy Banks Thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens are greywater hoodlums.

www.austinchronicle.com/issues/spec/greenbuild/greywater.html

You know who you are, with your washing machine draining onto your lawn or your bathtub water drenching your prized petunias. It's an irrigation source that's hard to resist, especially during droughts and water rationing, but it isn't as benign as many people suppose. According to Jim Fulton, an engineering associate with the Austin-Travis County Health Department, there's still a chance of bacterial contamination from typical greywater sources: showers and tubs, bathroom sinks, and washing machines. The majority of greywater systems - the engineered, legal kind - that Fulton and company encounter and approve are for properites west of town not serviced by city sewage.

This doesn't mean you can't have a safe and legal greywater system in the middle of town. The most easily understood descriptions of greywater treatment that I've found are in the book Homing Instincts by John Connell. Resources: Greywater. Elimination of greywater[edit] Domestic wastewater is usually combined at the sewer, so that grey- and blackwaters are removed together using a shared sewerage system in a process called elimination.

Greywater

Sewage water can then be treated to limit pollution and health risks, before being returned to the environment at large. Most greywater ends up as effluent in rivers and oceans in this way. There are other alternatives to eliminating greywater that allow for efficient use; using it to irrigate plants is a common practice.[1] The plants use contaminants of greywater, such as food particles, as nutrients in their growth. However, salt and soap residues can be toxic to microbial and plant life alike, but can be absorbed and degraded through constructed wetlands and aquatic plants such as sedges, rushes, and grasses. Recycling[edit] Underground Grey Water Recycling Tank Most greywater is easier to treat and recycle than blackwater, because of lower levels of contaminants. Systems[edit] Ecology[edit]

Rainwater harvesting. Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse before it reaches the aquifer.

Rainwater harvesting

Uses include water for garden, water for livestock, water for irrigation, and indoor heating for houses etc. In many places the water collected is just redirected to a deep pit with percolation. The harvested water can be used as drinking water as well as for storage and other purpose like irrigation. Advantages[edit] Rainwater harvesting provides an independent water supply during regional water restrictions and in developed countries is often used to supplement the main supply. Quality[edit] The concentration of contaminants is reduced significantly by diverting the initial flow of run-off water to waste.[1] Improved water quality can also be obtained by using a floating draw-off mechanism (rather than from the base of the tank) and by using a series of tanks, with draw from the last in series.

The quality of collected rainwater is generally better than that of surface water. How to Build a Rainwater Collection System: 9 steps. Steps Method 1 of 4: Getting Rain Barrel Supplies 1Obtain one or more water storage barrels.

How to Build a Rainwater Collection System: 9 steps

You can buy a water storage barrel online, but it's cheaper to get a used one from a company that uses large barrels to store food and other merchandise (just be sure to clean it thoroughly with soapy water). A rain barrel can also be made from a large plastic trash can. Get a barrel that will hold 30 to 55 gallons of water. 2Get additional supplies to turn the barrels into a water collection system. Method 2 of 4: Building a Rain Barrel Platform 1Level an area right next to your downspout. 3Stack concrete blocks on top of the pea gravel. Method 3 of 4: Adding the Spigot and Overflow Valve 1Drill a spigot hole in the side of your barrel. 4Make an overflow valve. Method 4 of 4: Assembling the Collection System 1Connect the downspout elbow to the downspout. 4Connect the additional barrels. Tips Ad Warnings Sources and Citations. Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water.

(NaturalNews) Many of the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S. are quickly eroding as the nation transforms from the land of the free into the land of the enslaved, but what I'm about to share with you takes the assault on our freedoms to a whole new level.

Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water

You may not be aware of this, but many Western states, including Utah, Washington and Colorado, have long outlawed individuals from collecting rainwater on their own properties because, according to officials, that rain belongs to someone else. As bizarre as it sounds, laws restricting property owners from "diverting" water that falls on their own homes and land have been on the books for quite some time in many Western states. Only recently, as droughts and renewed interest in water conservation methods have become more common, have individuals and business owners started butting heads with law enforcement over the practice of collecting rainwater for personal use. "Utah's the second driest state in the nation. Anupam Mishra: The ancient ingenuity of water harvesting. Tips for a Successful Drought-Tolerant Garden. Tips for a Drought Friendly Vegetable Garden.

As a native Californian, you get used to the word ‘drought’.

Tips for a Drought Friendly Vegetable Garden

It comes up every once in a while so you do what you can to cut back on your water usage. Sometimes it gets so bad that you expect that everyone has to let their lawn die that summer, you adopt the rule, “if it’s yellow, it’s mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down.” You put buckets under the bathtub faucet to catch all the cold water before it turns hot. You do what you can. But this year is different. So what do you do in this situation? Grow Your Crops Before the Summer Heat Starts – Instead of doing a heavy summer planting, do the majority of your planting in spring with short season vegetables. Do you have any water saving tips that we can add to our list? Like this: Like Loading... Gardening in a drought. Guest post by Mark M. NOTE: This may be something to print out and store in your SurvivalMom Binder for future reference. image by International Center for Tropical Agriculture I have lived in many countries over the years, and have always had a vegetable garden.

Not just for cost, as many of the countries I have lived in have had what we considered dirt cheap food, but for the quality. Nothing compares to the taste of veggies fresh from the garden. Recently, some friends told me about the bad drought in Texas. Kenya and Botswana. So how do they manage that? The technique involves three separate things, all of which are easily made by anyone with the ability to use a shovel, hammer or a trowel. Raised beds When we rented our home in Botswana, in the yard behind the house was a series of concrete troughs, roughly 4 foot wide, 2 foot deep and 15 foot long, running north to south.

Shade netting Every 3 feet in the troughs was a hole, just the right size to take a ¾ inch PVC pipe. Thread watering. Want drought-hardy plants? It's time to think agave. By Diana C. Kirby The long-term forecast for Central Texas is a little daunting for gardeners. Some experts are predicting that our current drought pattern could hang around until 2020. That's a long time to wait for rain. But die-hard gardeners are looking for ways to make lemonade out of this situation. So what's a gardener to do? Shift gears. There are hotter and drier places all around the globe that are filled with beautiful plants, though some of them are very different from the plants that we're used to growing here. It's time to: • Assess what worked and what didn't work in your garden this summer. .

• Of the plants that made it, which were the hardiest: the ones that didn't just live, but bloomed their little heads off on the hottest of days? • Think twice about replacing something that didn't survive with the same kind of plant. . • Finally, look around and see what did well in your neighbors' gardens and consider planting those plants in your garden. Where do you start? The Natural Gardener - 404.