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How To Conserve Water In The Garden

How To Conserve Water In The Garden

Water has become a precious and limited resource. Good habits can help you maximize the amount you use in your garden.
Here’s how to conserve water. You’ll end up saving time, money and energy.

Tips | Rainwater | Plants | Development

Water-saving Tips

water saving tips
Before recycling water, it is essential to understand that many other solutions exist to save water in the garden. This is an ensemble of gestures, adapted to help you reduce your consumption. There is no single solution, but several that complement each other.

Don’t try to go against nature. Thinking about your garden in a reasoned way means being aware of its needs. Remember to analyze the quality of your soil and learn about the rainfall in your area. You’ll be able to adapt your choice of plants (and their physiological needs) to climatic and soil conditions.

Soil

There’s no infallible watering rules for all gardens, but in general, two rules have to be followed:

  • Sandy soils are often watered in small amounts. They do not hold water well and tend to dry out quickly.
  • Clay soils are watered less often and in larger quantities.

Here are some additional soil tips:

  • Have a drainage layer at the bottom of where you’ll be planting (sand or gravel). You’ll prevent water from accumulating around the roots.
  • Learn to mulch to keep humidity within the soil. Arrange a layer of dead leaves (alternatively: straw, pine bark, flax flakes, bark mulch, wood fibers, grass clippings) at the feet of your larger plants.
  • One hoeing is worth two waterings. In addition to weeds (that will take away water from your plants), you’ll increase the water absorption of the soil. Compost also helps improve water absorption.
Technique
  • Use a plastic bottle neck placed near the base of the plant. Water dispersion will be slower, and will take place directly near the roots.
  • Be careful to water the base of the plant, and not the leaves. Otherwise, you’ll encourage diseases caused by fungi and mosses.
  • Have you plants received enough water today? Install a rain gauge in your garden. It will tell you if it is necessary or not to water them.
When & Where
  • A long, weekly watering is better than short daily ones. Plants develop their roots deeper and will be less susceptible to drought.
  • Plant your trees and shrubs during the fall. They’ll resume their growth more easily, and require less water than during the hot seasons.
  • For the most hardened plants, and those adapted to the heat, keep a southern exposure.
  • Remember to water in the morning or the evening, when evapotranspiration is less strong.
In times of drought
  • Water only the most fragile plants.
  • Do not water your lawn. It will revive in the fall when it rains.

Collect rainwater

rainwater
Rainwater is ideal. It is free, low in minerals and contains no chlorine or fluorine.

To collect it, place a container (zinc bathtub, half wooden barrel, etc.) at the bottom of the gutters. There are also different types of tankers, to be placed directly on your gutters, or buried.

In most cases, the volume of water you can recover can at least provide the basic water needs for your plants.
Install your rainwater system before the summer to build up reserves. Also note that, even during the months when rainfall is low, you can usually still get 30-40 liters of rainwater.

Choose appropriate plants

efficient plant
By picking plants that thrive on dry land you’ll limit the water intake needed.

  • Those adapted to a Mediterranean climate are best suited to this situation.
  • Consider plants from dry and sandy soils, such as heather and other plants along sea.
  • Aromatic plants, including gray foliage (thyme, rosemary, lavender) enjoy dry, sunny locations.
  • Figs and grapes are fruits that are very resistant to droughts.
  • You can plant cacti or ones with woolly foliage, that have adapted to hot and dry environments.

For more plants that don’t need water, you can check out our handy guide

Adjust your watering based on development stage

seedling
Depending on the stage of development of your plants, the amount of water they need will vary.

The first month, a sufficient supply of water is essential. It will allow them to develop deep enough roots to survive. A lack of water during this period is irreparable. However, do not over-water them either, as the plant is then less “combative” and therefore more susceptible to disease.

Seedlings are very sensitive to lack of water and drought. Be sure to water regularly in small quantities to maintain moist soil at all times.
Do not hesitate to touch the soil regularly to ensure that its texture and moisture are optimal.

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