By members of the Siskiyou Land Trust Garden in Mount Shasta
During this time of drought, we at the Siskiyou Land Trust garden are making every effort to conserve water. At the same time, we are growing delicious, organic vegetables for our 10 members and are committed to sharing food with two to three local families in need. We hope this overview of our gardening methods will help you if you are also gardening this summer.
This year, with the Mt. Shasta City’s every other day mandate, we’ve designed our drip irrigation system for longer, periodic watering times (45 minutes, every other day), which forces the vegetables’ roots to go deep. This helps the plants tolerate the high heat of the summer months. We are also mulching in a new way. We put three to four inches of fresh weeds (with seed heads removed) on the top and sides of the garden beds. The weeds dry out and become an inch or more of mulch. The mulch helps the soil to stay cool and retain water.
We notice that we have had more weeds this year because during the winter, we did not have snow or a hard freeze. In addition to being used as mulch on the beds, they are also being added to our compost pile. It feels great to be using them in such productive ways!
In addition to conserving water and mulching, we have reduced the size of our garden by 25%. Some beds lie fallow while we plant closer and tighter in the active beds. We have also downsized the number of our members from 15 to 10. We are growing what has consistently done well in our area and letting go of experimenting with new plants for now.
To ensure that our vegetables grow healthy and strong, we’ve added more compost tea. We use a wonderful pre-packaged mixture that we buy at Spring Hill Nursery and Gardens.
Another change that’s occurring in the garden is that we’re seeing new pests that we have not yet been able to identify. Our growing zone is apparently changing because of the current warming trend and lack of snow. To combat the bugs, we re-use short plastic containers. We make small holes in them and then fill them with a small amount of cooking oil. The insects crawl in and drown in the oil, leaving healthy plants for us to eat. We are also spraying with a neem oil mixture on plants that will tolerate it.
We are excited about improving our water usage each year. It’s a challenge and we are up for it. We hope that you, too, are being careful about your water usage. The drought is a good way for us to become more conscious about conservation.
Together, we will live through this drought and learn a lot in the process.

By members of the Siskiyou Land Trust Garden in Mount Shasta During this time of drought, we at the Siskiyou Land Trust garden are making every effort to conserve water. At the same time, we are growing delicious, organic vegetables for our 10 members and are committed to sharing food with two to three local families in need. We hope this overview of our gardening methods will help you if you are also gardening this summer. This year, with the Mt. Shasta City’s every other day mandate, we’ve designed our drip irrigation system for longer, periodic watering times (45 minutes, every other day), which forces the vegetables’ roots to go deep. This helps the plants tolerate the high heat of the summer months. We are also mulching in a new way. We put three to four inches of fresh weeds (with seed heads removed) on the top and sides of the garden beds. The weeds dry out and become an inch or more of mulch. The mulch helps the soil to stay cool and retain water. We notice that we have had more weeds this year because during the winter, we did not have snow or a hard freeze. In addition to being used as mulch on the beds, they are also being added to our compost pile. It feels great to be using them in such productive ways! In addition to conserving water and mulching, we have reduced the size of our garden by 25%. Some beds lie fallow while we plant closer and tighter in the active beds. We have also downsized the number of our members from 15 to 10. We are growing what has consistently done well in our area and letting go of experimenting with new plants for now. To ensure that our vegetables grow healthy and strong, we’ve added more compost tea. We use a wonderful pre-packaged mixture that we buy at Spring Hill Nursery and Gardens. Another change that’s occurring in the garden is that we’re seeing new pests that we have not yet been able to identify. Our growing zone is apparently changing because of the current warming trend and lack of snow. To combat the bugs, we re-use short plastic containers. We make small holes in them and then fill them with a small amount of cooking oil. The insects crawl in and drown in the oil, leaving healthy plants for us to eat. We are also spraying with a neem oil mixture on plants that will tolerate it. We are excited about improving our water usage each year. It’s a challenge and we are up for it. We hope that you, too, are being careful about your water usage. The drought is a good way for us to become more conscious about conservation. Together, we will live through this drought and learn a lot in the process.