Go Organic - Tricks to conserve waterBy James Ashford
June 12, 2009
Thank goodness we have had some rain at last.
The soil on my plot is still bone dry underneath the surface and we could really do with another two or three days of solid steady rain.
Water is a precious resource which we tend to take for granted.
If you have to carry it any sort of distance you quickly realise just how heavy water is and what hard work fetching and carrying it can be.
Plants need water to flourish and it can be difficult keeping up with demand during a prolonged hot dry spell.
You can do a lot to reduce the amount of water you use in the garden with a bit of planning. This reduces the amount of fetching and carrying and if you are on a meter it will save you a few quid.
Get some water butts and collect the rain from your roof. You can sometimes get butts cheaply from water companies or from your local council.
Water early in the morning or late in the evening. When it is cool less water evaporates from the surface of the soil and more penetrates to where it is needed down at the roots.
Direct water at the base of the plant rather than spraying it all over the leaves.
You can use perforated hoses which are buried under the surface of the soil at the start of the season. These drip water just where it is needed so none of the precious stuff is lost to evaporation.
Weeds steal moisture and nutrients from your plant so keep them under control and you will need to water less.
Mulches keep the water locked into your soil. They blanket the surface of the soil, reducing the amount of water that is lost to evaporation.
You can use a thick layer of bark chippings or last year’s leaves to make an effective mulch or you can use weed control fabrics.
If you are on a tight budget you can even use layers of newspaper from the new bumper editions of the Reading Post and getreading but do weigh them down to stop them blowing away.