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You don’t have to be a gardener, farmer or feng shui consultant to know that the earth in Seattle is dry right now. It’s drier than than I have ever seen it before.

This is the first year I have considered the usefulness of an irrigation system. Rather than relying on regular watering my garden depends on mostly native plants placed properly. Californians that can take care of themselves and look good while they do it are welcome too. What I mean by “placed properly” is that every garden has micro climates. For example maybe you have a sheltered area, an open area, sunny, shady, dry, wet…If you plant things in the micro climate they want it will be much less work to maintain them. This is also how feng shui works.

Even if your garden was planned with feng shui and drought tolerance in mind, water will have to be added at some point in the season. If you have new plantings, transplants or seedlings they are going to need regular watering during their first year at least.

As long as your soil drainage is good and you keep the soil at a fairly consistent level of moisture, water will sink right in. The moist areas of earth tend to stay at a cooler temperature. If you are planting, transplanting or starting seedlings this is the type of earth you need. In feng shui and ba zi this cooler and moister earth is called Ji or yin earth. The wettest, coldest soil arrives when the thaw of winter begins.

The warmest, driest earth is present as summer turns into fall. Dry earth feels warmer than wet earth. Annuals or any newly sprouted/planted things tend to shrivel up and die when the earth gets too dry but the perennials, shrubs, and trees can tolerate it. This year, however, it’s been so dry that even many of the mature trees in my neighborhood were drooping and dropped their leaves early, obviously due to a lack of water.

When the earth is dry it tends to get more compacted here in Seattle and is testy about accepting water again. Until you’ve softened it up with a few days of sprinkling, the water tends to puddle on the surface and take awhile to sink in. In feng shui and ba zi this warmer and drier earth is called Wu or yang earth.

Today marks the first day of the Xu month or the month of the Dog in the Chinese Calendar. The main qi of the dog is Wu or dry earth but not typically this dry. We are so there.

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