Drought could shift garden priorities

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative

With drought conditions possibly on the horizon, it’s never too early for homeowners to begin thinking about altering their gardens to meet the need.

With the likelihood of another dry season this year, California residents will need to become more self-conscious about their water usage.

Naturally, when this issue is raised, the local green-thumbs are concerned with how to properly start or maintain their gardens.

Nino Pompei, one of the owners of the Oakley-based Pompei Nursery, offers some advice.

He urges fellow gardeners to research drought-tolerant plants which use less water, and to replace some of the plants in their gardens or add in these new variants.

Eligible plants are numerous, and Pompei highlights some good options available to all California gardeners.

“There are many plants that are drought-tolerant,” Pompei said. “(During) the last drought that we [Pompei Nursery] went through, we actually worked with the local water company…putting together a list which they sent out to the customer base, the water customer base, (explaining) what plants are native California plants and are drought-tolerant.”

The website of Calwaters, the largest subsidiary of the California Water Service Group, also lists plants adapted to long, dry summers and short rainy winters.

The site aptly calls these “Mediterranean-zone” plants.

Not all are native to California, but are still easily available and suited to the climate.

Although California had an unusually dry February, Pompei noted that people aren’t yet seeking out the drought-tolerant plants.

He assures the community that once people start shifting their focus to preserving water, Pompei Nursery will have a large selection available as they have during previous drought-conscious times.

For now, Pompei Nursery is working with fruit-and-food-producing inventory, thanks to the influx of new garden owners at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nursery has a large selection of fruit-producing trees, especially citrus, but buyers can also find lovely ornamental plants for decorative purposes.

Pompei Nursery is located at 4701 Main St. in Oakley. For more information, call 925-625-7330 or visit http://www.pompeinursery.com.

To view the Calwaters list, visit bit.ly/3wPPZtY.