Monday, June 8, 2009

gettin' hot gettin' dry - babies need a drink

it's that time
  • the heat is hitting hard
  • there is no rain in site
  • the ground is dry dry dry
  • and the garden droops even before the noon hour - looking like heat stroke to me
time to pull out the back up - time for the early morning or later evening garden sprinkler spa therapy. this is not something i like to do regularly but when the green growing babies need a big slow drink i give in. i do keep in mind the following habits not to practice as they both lead to water waste which not a single one us can afford these days.

  • windy days don't work - it all dries up before it can penetrate the ground
  • middle of the day won't work - ditto double ditto waste waste waste
another quick way to hit a few plants in these hot days is to always re-use the dirty - going to be dumped before i refresh - chicken water. in fact, i always use the older chicken water for the garden plants and trees - waste not want not right? truth is i cannot see why you would not use the water for a second purpose - it's good stuff. if you're not re-using your waste water you might want to consider starting. keep in mind that if you use toxic and/or damaging bits in the water, it's best to send it down the drain but if you are like me, you are making choices about the soaps and cleaners you use.

i stick by my dr. bronner's. it is bio-degradable. it does not contain salt which is bad for plants and dries out the soil. most of all it gets the job done. and if you wanted to add one more plus there are some great naturally scented variations of the stuff. do us all a favor and find a way to re-use your water. once you make it part of your daily practice - you might wonder what ever kept you from doing so.

back to the sprinklers -

the tricky part is watering around the bees. i have to position the sprinkler just right. i don't want it to spray directly into the front or back openings. nor do i want for it to land to heavily around their primary flight paths. in the case of the bee, the early morning and/or later evening watering time slots are best as those are the times when the bees prove less active.

back to saving water - things you might consider for conservation
  • rain barrels or a large size rainwater harvesting system
  • you can also use garbage cans, large buckets and pails, any old thing that might collect a bit and save a bit of rainwater for later use - when rain hits my area, you'll find me running outside to place each and every one of my galvanized tubs under a spout or a good drippy rain collecting spot.
  • composting toilet - i'll be looking into these once i pay off bills a bit further
  • a large bowl or bin that fits in your sink to collect used washing liquid - i keep a cheap plastic rectangular bin for the job myself
  • timers for your hoses - in case you forget and/or for ease and control - it's no good leaving the sprinklers on alllll day - in fact that's bad, very bad
  • fix your dripping pipes and faucets - you'll save more water than you can imagine with this one smooth move
  • water only the plants that really need it - i have sprinklers where i can control their range of motion. i target the areas i want to hit and let the others fend for themselves.
  • watch the weather - there is no need to water if rain is coming
  • set up your garden with slow drip irrigation and/or soaker hoses. i use soaker hoses and keep them buried just under the soil and mulch layer.
i am sure there are even more ways to save but these are a start. plan now and you'll be ready for the big heat. one thing i wish for you all - is that you do not have to endure the heat we here do.

1 comment:

monika said...

I understand you very well.
When summer arrives we have the same problems regarding water.
I live in Sardinia , Italy, and in towns or country they decide to cut water in the houses for some days every now and then to save it!
It is a big problem, especially if you do not have a well or a tank!
I also use the old drinking water of cats and dogs for the flowers.