Spring has finally sprung! Do you love gardening but hate wasting water? Here are 8 water-efficient gardening methods from Lathika George, writer of the Essential Kitchen Garden, you can use to save water and money:
- Install a drip irrigation system and allow the plants to deep soak to see 50% water savings. This method can be used in urban terrace gardens to large garden spaces and can even be put on a timer. The water is applied directly to the roots for maximum efficiency.
- Mulch at the base of plants and trees to deter weeds and prevent evaporation. Spread a thick layer of crushed leaves, grass cuttings and twigs to enrich the soil.
- Improve your soil to enhance its water-holding capacity. Periodically enrich your soil with organic matter. Most commonly, this includes: compost, green manure, leaf mold, and animal manure. (Iannotti) Your soil structure will be improved, and beneficial organisms will thrive.
- Plant your crops close together to reduce the amount of water used when watering. This method is most beneficial for extremely dry areas and can even increase production. Make sure to check out a companion planting guide to identify mutually beneficial plants and keep the soil well mulched.
- Checkout some of the farms in your region and see what they do to save water. These methods might save water and money.
- Select local native plants that correspond to the climate in your region.
- Recycle greywater from your home to use in the garden. Creating a “reed bed” is one of the best methods of recycling water from your laundry, bath and dishwater. The grey water can be transferred into a header tank under the house where an underground PVC pipe fills the reed bed in the yard. (Ecofilms) The water is then filtered through marsh plants and reeds, so it can be reused for garden purposes.
- Water your garden when it is cool outside to reduce evaporation. The two best times of the day to water your plants are early morning or right after sunset.
- George, Lathika. Water-efficient kitchen gardening. 26 4 2018. http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/rainwater-harvesting-for-your-kitchen-garden/article23684012.ece. 27 4 2018.
- Ecofilms. Building an Urban Greywater Reedbed. 5 5 2011. http://www.ecofilms.com.au/building-an-urban-greywater-reedbed/. 27 4 2018.
- Iannotti, Marie. What Is Organic Matter and What Does It Do for My Garden Soil? 23 10 2017. https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-organic-matter-1401911. 27 4 2018.
Photo Credit: Sascha Kohlmann via Flickr