Drought

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FarmI, and any other farmers who live in drought stricken areas, I would appreciate hearing on how you are coping and what plants are performing best for you.
It looks like we are in for another year of water rationing here in northern California, due to lack of precipitation and the need to provide our endangered salmon with sufficient water for spawning. The water also gets sent south so that people can grow lawns and hose down sidewalks in the great desert that is southern California.
Yes, I've "googled" drought resistant vegetables and found some good sites like http://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/story.php?S_No —7&storyType=garde
Looking forward to any advice you can offer.
Billy Republican and Democratic "Leadership" Behind Bars http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1031285.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KVTfcAyYGg&ref=patrick.net

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Guess you know about <http://www.highcountrygardens.com/
<http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/browse/xeriscape-perennials/
But the above is ornamental.
Below deals with food.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dryland_farming>
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Center_for_Agricultural_Resea rch_in_the_Dry_Areas>
All I think of is heavy mulch. We had a very dry year a few years back so I mulched heavy the next year in preparation. However the next year was very wet. So I play it by ear with a light mulch as I can always water but it is hard to dry out the sandy loam here.
Bill
Bill
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Bill wrote:

Another method that might work to some extent is to provide more room for each plant, as a larger footprint will provide more moisture when/if it does rain or when you are able to water. And as has been mentioned previously, Mulch.
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One of the above sites mentioned twice the distance between rows. The Hopi seemed to advocate planting deep to contact more moisture.
Bill
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Bill wrote:

Another method that might work to some extent is to provide more room for each plant, as a larger footprint will provide more moisture when/if it does rain or when you are able to water. And as has been mentioned previously, Mulch.
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A site mentioned doing your normal row distance but planting every other row. The Hopi link is interesting in that the seed is planted about 8 inches deep as water may be about. Blue Corn mentioned. I vaguely remember that the micro climates the Hopi provided was to hill the corn in a manner that reduced wind dehydration but captured morning dew.
Complex No?
Bill
Story
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Try container gardening. That is my plan this year for here.
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Peace! Om

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Here is a start of possible interest concerning dry farming.
<http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/legacies/AZ/200002727.html
Bill
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Here in Georgia we had a bad dfrought last year, our lake is down 17 feet. that is straight down. my summer garden was stunted , only hot weater plants survived. i watered every other day only way i fot things to live,, hope we get rain this year, but we are already in a drought. our lake is still down 15 feet
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Sorry Billy, haven't been reading for a few days so didn't see your question - too bloody hot here to do anything but loll around contemplating one's navel.

I assume you are interested only in veg so will talk about that (if flowers, use plants from South Africa or Aus) and probably wont' get to cover all the things I do but here's a few thoughts:
Mulch and shade are very important! When you plant seedlings, use a fine mulch. I use chaff (alfalfa or wheaten chaff). As plants grow use bigger, less fine mulch (hay/straw). For corn and tomatoes, shove it on in buucket loads as both these plants put out new roots into the mulch. For spuds, mulch as the haulms grow.
If the sun is really severe, then shade plants. I do this with either shade cloth, cuttings off Sacred Bamboo (I also use this if I have to plants when it's hot - the leaves fall off over time as the plant hardens up) and even a light bird netting - it seems to just give a bit of protection to make a more gentle microclimate. I often plant things in semi shade - like lettuces or herbs so that they get afternoon shade but morning sun. I also use upturned plastic pots with huge cuts in the side over things If I notice that the sun is causing then to shrivel.
I have one bed that has wire all roudn it so I can drape an old floor leangth curtain over if need be. Old sheets are also useful for this.
Don't waste water. Plant things into a depression so that if you have to hand water, the water stays around the roots and percolates down. Mulch depression. Evening watering if you can. As soon as you notice something needs water give it some - dont' wait 'cos an hour or two later can be too late. We're often moving hoses around long after dark which makes fun when you have the sort of venomous snakes that we do and that are supposedly nocturnal - we go through lots of torch (flashlight) batteries.
Plant early and late if weather allows. In our early spring it's sometimes too cold and in our mid summer it's too hot to plant so I plant after the local gardening calendar says I should and hope that the seeds/seedlings/plants survive. One example, this year Broad (Fava) Bean seeds went in about 2 months later than was supposed to be their last Spring planting time. Not a huge crop harvested but still enough to be wortth the time and the space and the small outlay. Himself has always cliamed to hate all forms of beans, but I convinced him to actually taste one Broad Bean and he loved it so much that I then had to share the crop with him. Guess I'll have to plant a greater number next year to allow for a new addict.
Some forms of planting can also be counter intuitive. Some things I plant very close together and somethings I plant further apart. Close - trees, lettuce, herbs, spuds, corn. Further apart - Rhubarb, Asparagus, Artichokes, tomatoes.
Wind - stop it if you can. We get hugely hot westerlies and they can fry things to a crisp in a few hours. Over the years I've put up an 8 ft shade cloth fence with a windbreak on the windward side of it using acacias and small native shrubs. On the veg garden side of it, I've planted things like figs and apple trees and Prune trees. On the east of the veg garden I have a low hedge of Photinia Red Robin (or somesush name) with artichokes in a row inside that and flowers such as Agapanthas on the far (lawn ) side of the Photinia hedge.
Depends on how hot it gets where you are Billy. Here it gets over the ton and can stay that way for a week of so. That isn't too bad if it comes on gradually, but lately it seems to be cold then a couple of days later it's stinking hot. That, I think is more of a problem that ongoing heat (except if therre is hto winds along with the heat).
Hope some of that helps. More might occur to me as responses twig my memory.
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g'day billy,
for me it comes down to mulch, mulch and more mulch, heaps of it on the garden beds up to 8"s deep, around trees up 20"s and out just beyond the drip line.
then we use all our used water on gardens and potted plants. we try to plant native type trees or hardy trees like citrus.
wrote: snipped With peace and brightest of blessings,
len & bev
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
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wrote:

My first thought is to use soaker hoses. They make the best use of what water you can afford to irrigate with.
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Susan N.

"Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral,
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Look at this as it touches on drought resistant plants and techniques.
<http://www.scribd.com/doc/2521880/Com-Plant
"Zuni waffle garden was designed to conserve water in the arid southwest climate. "
Bill
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I haven't tried the Zuni waffle garden design, Bill, but I have tried squash with corn, and beans with corn, only to have the corn choke out the sunlight. Granted, I laid out the corn on a Cartesian grid before, planting in a mound (on the south side of the corn) seems more reasonable to me. If I do plant corn this year, it will be simply to continue my efforts in trying to acclimate Golden Bantam to my environment.
Thanks for the idea.
--

Billy
Republican and Democratic "Leadership" Behind Bars
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wrote:

Here is a link to a draught resistant tomato, Millet's Dakota. http://www.victoryseeds.com/catalog/vegetable/tomato/tomato.html
They have seed for heirloom and open pollinated plants.
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Susan N.

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I usually buy something from Victory Seeds but I hadn't seen Millet's Dakota.
Thanks
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Billy
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wrote:

I spent a long time yesterday looking through all the tomatoes at http:\\store.tomatofest.com
There were about 600 varieties. Even tho I don't need any more tomato seeds, I bought 7. Who can resist a Julia Child, Blue Ridge Mountain when I live in the foothills and Richardson since it is my maiden name. All good reasons to buy the seeds.
I did notice that Burbank is supposed to do well in drier areas. Check it out. Problem is $15 minimum purchase.
--
Susan N.

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Yeah, that $15 minimum has kept me from buying at Tomatofest. I did find the Burbank at "Seeds of Change" also. http://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/product_details.asp?item_no=PS 15446 They claim it needs moderate watering and is high in amino acids, for a tomato. Apparently the Burbank is a determinate tomato (good for canning?).
Thanks for sharing the information.
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Billy
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wrote:

Shipping is really a pain. When I know that I need (or want) a large variety I start making a list of what I want, then who has them. I try to get as many as possible from one place without leaving a single from someone. I particularly like to try different varieties to see if I like a new one better than what I am now using.
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Susan N.

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I had a hard time finding Marglobe a tomatoe from my youth. Those Polish Pastel look like a wedding gift unless your great ancestors liked them.
Bill
Beware what is born every minute ?
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