Wise Watering in the Heat

thumb_IMG_3804_1024As we move into the hot summer months, typically there are periods of drought and wind. This can be stressful on our gardens, and we need to take extra care to water regularly. Watering can become expensive and time consuming. Here are some tips to conserve resources yet still give plants what they need.

  1. Use drip irrigation and timers – Place drip irrigation or soaker hoses around the base of your plants. The drip action of these hoses allows water to get directly to the roots of the plants instead of remaining on the leaves or being lost to evaporation. Timers create efficiency and cut down on your time spent turning water on and off.thumb_IMG_3752_1024
  2. Water early morning or late evening – Watering either before the sun comes up or after it has gone down aids absorption as the sun is not getting the chance to dry up the water. Plants are also less susceptible to shock or disease that they may suffer from being watered in the hot midday sun.
  3. Harvest rain water – Rain barrels, retention systems, rain chains, etc. help to cut down on the amount of tap water we are using. In addition, your plants benefit from the natural elements present in rain.IMG_2542
  4. Save cooking water – Water used to steam, blanch or boil vegetables or pasta can be used to water garden plants after it has cooled. It is highly nutritious.
  5. Use leftover ice water from coolers – Done with your weekend trip and have a cooler full of icy water? Dump in the garden on your thirsty plants. If you fish, the cooler water that your fish have been chilling in is especially good for the garden.
  6. Install a rain garden or water-wise plants – Rain garden plants are great at filtering water before it enters the sewers but they are also self-sustaining once established. There is no need to water these plants, even during drought.
  7. Save your water from washing veggies – Place a larger bowl beneath your colander and save that water for your garden.
  8. Repurpose drinking water – Done with your glass of water or the pets water bowl needs changing? Dump that old water old onto a plant.
  9. Use self-watering containers – Buy pre-built self-watering containers or make your own Self watering planter using 1 or 2 liter plastic bottles.
  10. Create slow drip watering jugs – Poke holes in the bottom of an old milk or juice jug. Fill with water and place in your garden near the base of the plant. Water will slowly seep out over time giving the plant a steady stream of water.
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