While rainfall is in more ready supply the further north you travel up the coast, even homeowners in Northern California and above would do well to take stock of their landscape watering practices. The need is more urgent in the south where, according to the national Climate Prediction Center, drought conditions may persist though at least July.
- With municipal water restrictions likely in many areas, you’ll want to capture any spare precipitation that falls. Installing a rain barrel will let you store up water for the long stretches when a rainy day is nowhere to be found.
- Determine ahead of time which plants will have the most urgent water needs during a drought. Water those first, and move on to the more drought tolerant plants only if you have enough water left in reserve.
- The potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa) is a drought-tolerant shrub native to the northern part of the country; in the south, the bluebeard shrub (Caryopteris clandonensis) is a solid alternative. For native, drought-tolerant trees, try the desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) in the South and “Green Giant” arborvitae in the North.
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