There are many ways to use less water on your garden, and still have a bountiful harvest. This guide is about conserving water in the garden.
Last year, my family ran into the not-so-fun situation of running out of water in our well. Oh, the things we take for granted! But necessity is the mother of invention and it lead me to do the following to conserve water:
Take a used 2.5 gallon plastic water container (Target sells bottled water this way and so does Super Walmart and BJs) that has a pull tap and cut a large, 3 sided hole in the back, leaving a plastic flap that can be opened or closed. When you take a shower, take the container in with you. As the water is warming up, hold the shower head so the water fills the container. I was surprised to find that it took almost 2 gallons of water to get it up to temperature! I then use the water for plants, our dogs and cats, and even to wash my hands. This conserves water when the weather is dry, saves money for those who have town water, and is a great emergency resource if you lose water if you lose electricity. It is also good when camping - put it at the end of your picnic table and you have an on site faucet!
By Rita from Whitinsville, MA
Hmm... this has gotten me thinking. Those of us on city water don't think so much about how much we waste. It's a good argument for more people adopting the old-fashioned "sink bath method." That's what I do between showers, or on days when I just don't feel up to the extra work a shower entails. Just remember to turn off that faucet when soaping and rinsing!
I have a small leak that can't be fixed need new faucets. So in meantime, I set a glass under faucet and in morning I have a glass of water to take my pills, without wasting the drips thru the night.
We bought a rain barrel this year. I noticed our condensation pipe for the central air conditioning was spitting water so I put an 8-gallon can underneath the pipe and it fills itself in 24 hours. I pour this water in our rain barrel so we can reuse it.
By sawing a piece of PVC pipe that can stick up from the ground about 5 inches and have about 7 inches below the ground you can have a great watering/fertilizing gardening helper.
Here are some tips for conserving water in your garden: Water your garden in the late afternoon but not at night. It needs time to let the surface dry so mold and fungus aren't able to damage the plants.
Here in North Carolina we have been experiencing drought conditions and are being encouraged to be mindful of wasting water. Since I have many plants which often need to be watered, I have tried to think of ways to be able to water the plants while conserving water.
We have a small dorm size refrigerator that we use for extras like sodas, water, and party food. It is not frost free, so in the summer it frosts up easily. When I defrost it, I try to catch all the water that drips off then I remove the big pieces as they become loose.
This is a guide about use cooking water for watering plants. Nutrients and minerals such as calcium are released into the water as you cook eggs, veggies, and other foods such as pasta.
This is a guide about conserve water with a snow fence. If you live where there is lots of snow and wind you may save water with a man-made or living snow fence.
Keep track of the days that it rains on a calendar. Circle the day and write "Rain". This way its easy for you too see which day it rained. It will help you save money on your water bill.
Few of us are aware of how much water we waste. Most of us merely turn on the sprinkler and walk away. In many places, water is not only scarce, it's expensive. How you deliver water to your lawn and garden can have a major effect on your water bill and ultimately, on the environment.
The goal of watering wisely is to deliver the right amount of water to the right location, the plant's roots. Any more, any less or anywhere else is simply a waste. Overhead sprinklers are outdated and inefficient because water is delivered to areas not needing it and significant amounts are lost to evaporation.
Low-pressure drip irrigation systems work best. Slow, thorough soakings encourage roots to grow deeply to where moisture supplies are more continuously available- ultimately reducing your need to water. Porous pipes, in-line emitter tubing and soaker hoses deliver water directly to the base of each plant, each drop soaking into the soil. These systems are flexible, simple to assemble, adapt to any site and reduce water use up to 70%.
Devise a simple drip watering system around trees and shrubs by punching holes into the bottoms of plastic jugs and burying them into the mulch under drip lines.
Rain barrels and livestock tanks attached to rain gutter down spouts are easy, inexpensive ways to collect and store water for gardening. Attach spigots and hoses to the bottom to create cheap, gravity flow drip-systems. Cover them to prevent children and small animals from falling in.
Water from the kitchen sink and bathroom toilets should not be used for irrigation due to health concerns. Water draining from the shower, bath, or laundry can be used, however, if you use chemically free soaps and detergents in your home.
The water used to rinse milk cartons is good for preventing certain plant diseases common to tomatoes, eggplants, petunias, peppers, and potatoes. It also protects cabbages from cabbage worms. Recycle water after cooking vegetables to enrich houseplants with valuable vitamins and minerals.
As a rule, water deeply, but infrequently. Most vegetables need about 1 inch of water per week. Trees and shrubs need only a half-inch. To determine how long to leave your system on, place several cans of the same size around areas being watered. Check the time when you turn the water on and leave it on until at least one of the cans is filled with an inch of water. Now you know how long to leave your system on.
Soil Type: Excellent, healthy soil will reduce your need for watering. Water percolates quickly through sandy soil and slowly through clay.
Soil Moisture: Don't base your decision on when to water solely on the look of your plants. Strong afternoon sun can temporarily cause plants to wilt despite moist soil. Overwatering can also cause wilting. Test your soil's moisture. If you have to dig deeper than 2-3 inches to find moist soil, it's time to water.
Plant Types: Corn prefers a lot of water, cantaloupes less. Plant thirsty plants together and keep in mind it can take transplanted seedlings up to two years to lose their root ball and develop downward roots. How you water those first two years can contribute greatly to root systems later on.
Mulching: A good layer of mulch around everything in your garden will hold moisture in and keep water-competing weeds out. Don't forget to mulch pots and planters, too.
Time of Day: Water early in the day before heat causes excess evaporation and so leaves have time to dry before nightfall, reducing the chance for spreading disease.
© 2005 ThriftyFun
Great site and some very interesting points.
We are designing and supplying rainwater recycling systems for self-builders right up to large commercial buildings. It's really nice to see the whole thing taking off at last.
Is there any problem with the chemicals in the pool water, especially Chlorine? I would think that the high concentration of chlorine would kill grass and plants?
Water is one of the earth's most valuable resources, so it is important to make sure that we garden in a way that doesn't over-use or waste water. With a little planning, you can reduce your garden water waste, and save yourself a little money at the same time.
My husband loves his fish tanks and I love gardening. Between the two of us we use a lot of water. But he bought a fish tank vacuum to help him clean out the tanks and originally had it hooked up to the bathroom sink faucet.
This is a guide about using greywater in the garden. Greywater is the domestic wastewater resulting from household water use. Some sources such as water from showers, sinks, or bathtubs is generally safe to use for garden irrigation.
I noticed water coming from a pipe from in the attic of the house and traced it back to the unit for an air conditioner, that is in the attic of a lot of Florida homes.
We noticed that there were puddles outside the windows with these air conditioners. We gathered some old five gallon buckets, and placed them under the drips.
When watering your lawn by using sprinklers, make sure the water is not hitting your house (ex. siding, windows, or foundation walls), only the grass, flowers, and bushes.
Instead of running the sprinklers on a timer, I only turn them on when needed. Been doing this for years. Since we have water restrictions in our city, we are limited to T and F.
We save our bathtub water and run it through a pipe into barrels under the deck. We then hook up our pump to hoses and water our garden with the recycled water. The deer do not like the soapy water!
By denowolfes from Talbott, TN
Great Job! Bet you spend many happy hours in your garden. GG Vi (06/06/2010)