These are some of our drought coping techniques implemented to improve water usage, feed the soil, discourage weeds and create a sustainable property.
Three summers ago, we discovered Permaculture @ Finch Frolic Gardens in Fallbrook. Permaculture is a design system that studies a property and incorporates ways to become a sustainable property . It opened our eyes and peeked our interest in studying methods of improving our soil, use water more efficiently and smarter, less labor intensive ways to manage our property. The following are a few ideas we have learned so:
1. We have been implementing new strategies such as sheet mulching, experimenting with straw bale gardening, reducing lawn on the property, making decisions on plants that serve a purpose, introducing succulents in our design and using Permaculture techniques to improve our soil and better the environment.
2. We have started blending raw scraps and using composting teas to feed Papaya trees and vegetable plants. This improves the soil by adding natural nutrients and reducing our landfills. We have been successful in planting garlic and using egg shells to detour snails from trees and plants.
3. After feeding the soil, we sheet mulch with 2 layers of cardboard, newspapers, etc. to provide a weed barrier. We finish with at least a 6 inch layer of mulch. Tree trimmings, grass clippings, leaves, bark, etc. all provide an excellent mulch. Sheet mulch is helping to retain the moisture in the soil, therefore, saving water, saves maintenance time by providing a weed barrier and is improving the soil as the barrier decomposes.