Home & Garden Gardening

Eco Friendly Watering

Unless you're growing a garden full of cactus, you're going to have to think about watering your garden.
Whether you're growing food crops or flowers, they're all going to need water.
However, in today's eco-conscious climate, where that water comes from and how its used is of more importance than ever.
In addition, many, if not most, home gardeners have to pay for their water from a municipal water source.
A little pre-planning can help you water more efficiently, which will reduce waste and help keep the planet and your wallet happier.
Proper bed planning is crucial to watering success.
A good soil is going to hold on to the moisture that you put into it efficiently, while a poor soil will drain too quickly and starve your plants of moisture.
Amend your soil if needed, with compost or materials such as vermiculite, to improve its ability to hold water.
Consider mulching, too, after planting.
This will help keep the soil moist as well as inhibit weed growth.
Weeds steal water away from your plants to fuel their own growth, so keep them far away.
Consider putting in a drip irrigation system.
Plants need water on their roots, not their leaves; using a traditional sprinkler, or spraying water from a hose, sends water onto the leaves of the plants and sprays it into the air.
Neither of those things need watering.
A drip hose, placed around the base of the plants, will slowly "ooze" or drip water right onto the soil where it's needed.
Much, much less water is lost to evaporation, and you don't water soil that doesn't have anything planted in it.
A drip hose can be purchased at any home improvement center, and is well worth the modest cost.
Finally, you can collect rain water in a collection barrel to use for watering your garden.
A basic collection barrel, with a screen to keep debris out of the water, can be placed under the downspout of your home's guttering system.
Many barrels even have a spout on the bottom; hook your drip hose to the rain barrel, and you're using free water to irrigate your flowers and vegetables.
Proper bed planning, good soil amendments, clever irrigation, and rain water collection can all lead up to big savings in both water usage and water cost for the home gardener.
Water smarter, and we'll all benefit from it!

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