I don't have automatic sprinklers, and in the past I have used rain barrels as well as greywater reclamation. I got so depressed at the sight of my empty containers in July 2016 that I planted a bunch of colorful pinwheels to look like beautiful flowers, and thought about the best layout for companion planting. Instead of putting my energy into the outdoors, I did a bunch of online research that may someday be part of a grant proposal for a community garden space.
Then I got the idea to go for drought-tolerant plants. It would beautify the space, although not produce edible leaves. I researched cacti. Then we got a variety of new plants at the Cactus and Succulent Society of America (CSSA) Inter-City Show at the LA County Arboretum. Some of the recent planting calendars for LA that I've made, together with a "care guide" for the succulents, cacti, and bromeliads I bought are here.
So I bought some new seeds and rearranged the garden layout to start some of them this month. I don't totally care if things don't work out. I'll let you know how it goes.
"There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments," ~ J. K. Philips