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Friday, May 20, 2011

Conserving Water for your Garden–Ten Tested Ways to Save Water


I have always been a survival of the fittest sort of gardener. Meaning that if plants to do thrive I do not plant it again.  Now here in Oklahoma we have some brutal summers. HOT and dry. We often go from rainy and cold to 100 degrees in what seems like a week.   So what is a frugal gardener to do? Several years ago we were in the midst of a drought and  I got sticker shock from my water bill. Off the library I went, looking for answers to my water woes. I stumbled upon this book The Complete Guide to Water Storage: How to Use Tanks, Ponds, and Other Water Storage for Household and Emergency Use (Back-To-Basics Conserving) I know a long tittle,but what an enlightening book it was. It led me to investigate and try new ways of saving water. 
I was already doing the usual things to save on water. Like water in the cool part of the day, Planting climate appropriate plants. But now I add these water conservation tricks to my arsenal.
  1. I started collecting Rain Water – You can get rain barrels if you want but any container will work in a pinch.
  2. I started saving our grey water. Grey water consists of any water used to wash. That is dishwasher, washing machine, showers, tubs. My dream house will have a grey water system. Before we fixed our shower faucet it leaked. I put a 5 gallon bucket under the shower head to collect the dripping water
  3. I put  an old horse trough that I put next to the garden. I have it set up with a soaker hose so that I can use the collected rainwater to water the vegetable garden
  4. I plant drought hardy native plants and grasses  in my flower beds.
  5. I water less frequently but for a longer period of time. This encourages a deeper root system
  6. I use mulch and compost. These help the soil retain moisture
  7. I save kitchen water. That is the water from rinsing vegetables from the garden, any cooking water and any leftover water from our water bottles. I put this water into a bucket outside my kitchen door to use for watering my plants in containers.
  8. I collect the water that drains when I water my hanging baskets and reuse it.
  9. I found out just how much water my garden plants needed. Most vegetables need 1” a week. I track the actual rainfall and adjust my water schedule accordingly.
  10. I make sure the water is going where it is needed, not on the driveway or sidewalk.
What are some of you ways you save money in the garden?


Dwija {House Unseen} said...

Here in Michigan, we are blessed with abundant rainfall, but we do pinch pennies in a lot of other ways to make our very small budget go farther.

Instead of purchasing trellises or supports for our peas, I made some out of sticks from our forest. If you'd like to see a picture, I have one in this post:

We also have just started raising chickens for eggs (and then potentially meat...we'll see :) ) and my husband built a zero-dollar chicken coop. It was very satisfying!

Thanks for the great blog. Jackie recommended I stop by.

granola catholic said...

I love stick trellises. I like to make mine with sunflower stalks. They are surprisingly sturdy once they dry.

granola catholic said...
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Environmental Training Courses said...

Great tips on how to save water. A lot of water is wasted in those taps everyday. But that doesn't end there. There are still a lot of things we should look into if we really want to save water like for instance in the garden. We should use the conventional water container to water the plants rather than using a hose or a sprinkler. We need to all do our part to conserve water. Engaging yourselves in an environmental awareness activity is really an act that should be shared with others. It is a good deed indeed for many of us inhabitants of the planet earth. I hope lots of people will mirror this act and also share it to youngsters.

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