From the Ground Up

Gardening, books, and other interests

Welcome, raindrops



We got some rain yesterday. Yes, we did–not much, but a little. Precious little according to the precipitation map at LA’s  Dept Public Works.  Check it out to see how much fell in your neighborhood.

In my neck of the woods it was 0.20 inches. In the coastal areas there was a bit more, up to 0.35 inches. Inland, there was very little to none, as in  Z.E.R.O. inches in Palmdale, Lancaster, Castaic.

If it rained every day for the whole month of February, we might be okay. But extended weather forecasts call for a continuation of our dry and sunny pattern.

Now that the drought is official, I am waiting for the message to get out and everyone to start taking small steps to conserve water.

In the home, here are some suggestions:

Take shorter showers (this means ME! I am guilty.)

Don’t use your toilet as a wastebasket or ashtray. Every flush uses 5-7 gallons of water, so only flush when necessary.

Don’t run the water the whole time you are shaving or brushing your teeth. Use what you need to wet your toothbrush or rinse the soap off your razor, and turn the tap off.

Don’t let the faucet run continuously while rinsing vegetables in the sink or doing dishes in the sink.

There is NO need to totally rinse off every single scrap of food before loading dishes into the dishwasher. (Guilty, again!)

Install aerators on all the faucets in the house. (It’s cheap to do!)

Switch out your shower heads for “low-flow” versions.
In the garden:
Make sure your sprinklers are adjusted so they are spraying your plants, not the sidewalk.

Put a a 3-inch layer of mulch around trees and shrubs. It will discourage weeds as well as conserving moisture.

Don’t over-water your lawn. If you step on the grass and it springs back, it doesn’t need watering yet.

Set the mower blades higher and mow less often. Letting grass grow up to 3″ tall will conserve moisture.

Tear out your lawn altogether and plant drought resistant plants and ground cover.

Install soaker hoses or a drip system in your flower beds and around your trees and shrubs, and reserve the use of spray heads for larger areas of grass or ground cover. Also, switch out your conventional spray heads for low-volume (i.e MP rotator) heads.

C’mon people, let’s do it!


Author: From the Ground Up Landscape & Garden Design

I'm a professional landscape designer located in the Greater Los Angeles area. I design all types of gardens, but I specialize in drought tolerant and Mediterranean designs that conserve water and harmonize with our native California surroundings. To see photos of my work, visit my website:

2 thoughts on “Welcome, raindrops

  1. I’m so glad to see you’ve had a bit of rain. I hope you get a lot more. I wish you could take some of our snow–we have piles of it to spare.

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