Water saving thread

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Primrose
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Water saving thread

Postby Primrose » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:26 pm

I think we're all bemoaning the lack of rain.

Could we do with starting a water saving thread for any new members on here and to remind ourselves to get into better habits.

We don,t have a hosepipe ban here yet but ai could foresee one coming even though apparently our area reservoirs are still at reasonable levels.

However today I did set up a couple of empty buckets outside our kitchen door for tipping grey kitchen water into.
I remember the long drought of was it 1976, when we rigged up a device for siphoning the bath water out of the bathroom window and down into the back garden. Don' t think we'd have the patience to go through that performance agains

Meanwhile any useful water saving hints anybody?
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby oldherbaceous » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:13 pm

Water plants heavily, then mulch with anything you have to hand.
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby Primrose » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:37 pm

I recently bought another packets of water retention crystals and will be digging out some deep holes in my patio pots to sprinkle them into to try and reduce the watering. They seem to be drying out very quickly despite mixing some of the crystals in at the beginning of the season.
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:37 pm

Good tip re adding the water retention crystals to the patio pots. Think I'll try that. I remember the drought of 76. I was in the garden listening to the police radio reports, when there was an alert regarding the forest fire heading towards the nearby army petrol supply. It all got incredibly serious but thankfully we didn't all get blown to smithereens. We narrowly missed having a hose pipe ban in our area but I'm not sure how we'll get on now, as there are many more houses being built all around here.
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby Westi » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:08 pm

Agree with OH - soak them well then mulch. Although I hate the stuff I am mulching with bark chips I bought years ago for paths so not pretty and way big chips but doing the job & will be raked up & burnt over winter. I've run out though with only a bed & 1/2 done though. I will also be getting creative with plastic bottles beside plants with holes punched into the lids to keep them ticking over. But the big boys will be putting their roots down deep so might be a challenge getting the winter brassicas dug up when ready!

I expect the stores & online will be running out of drippers & watering stuff & there will a huge price hike in the products they do have very shortly! :( Might have to start buying babies nappies to get the water retaining gel & bury them near the plant but they say it takes 100's of years for nappies to biodegrade so maybe not!

Good thread Primrose will be interested to see other hints & tips!
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby Primrose » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:31 pm

Well maybe the babies' nappies with the water retention gel in them can be used to line patio containers. I don't know how long the gel is effective for but I'm sure the material part of the nappy retains a certain amount of moisture and will gradually rot down.

I've found that the water retaining crystals do have a tendency to rise to the surface of the soil if they're not well mixed into the compost. Perhaps containing them in some kind of bag or little pouches of material would keep them buried beneath the surface would make them more effective. Surprised they're not sold in little compostibe tea bag type sachets so you could bury one deep down beside the roots of bulky plants like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomato plants, etc. .
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby Geoff » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:59 pm

Where do you get lawn clippings from for mulching?

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Re: Water saving thread

Postby Primrose » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:44 pm

Yes, I know, our front lawn and verge look completely brown and dead. You have to feel sorry for farmers whose cows and sheep have no grass left to graze. They will be making inroads into their winter grazing food stock already and if we have a harsh winter as well, the price of foodstuffs will rocket.

At least we have a reliable stock of home grown lettuce at the moment, not to mention a glut of cucumbers and courgettes coming !

The bucket outside the kitchen door for grey kitchen sink water is in regular use but all the plants nearest to the kitchen door are reaping all the benefit to save lugging it further down the garden !
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby snooky » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:40 pm

When I turn on the hot tap I collect and save the cold water which precedes the hot instead of letting it go to waste.
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby Daveswife » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:13 am

Hi everyone,

This baking hot weather and inevitable water shortage makes you think, doesn't it, so I'm looking forward to reading your tips for water saving.
This is us:
We too put grey water from the kitchen sink bowl onto the garden to keep worthy causes alive, usually the apple tree. They store well during the winter so we don't want to jeopardise our winter vitamins if we can avoid it.
Due to not having a washing machine (very rustic, eh), all washing is done by hand so all that water goes on the garden, also whatever comes out of the spin dryer.
Husband did a brew today and water from the cooler went into containers ready for the veg garden.
During the day we wee in the compost bin which avoids the need for a flush. But we use the loo in the night, rinse the bowl with some very diluted disinfectant and then flush in the morning.

The last time it rained here in Nottingham was 30th May. No wonder the ground is so parched. Yet hedges and trees have been growing abnormally much (that's rotten grammar, but you know what I mean).
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby Daveswife » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:23 am

Just a thought, the problem at the moment is not just about water saving, but perhaps also about reducing the need to water.
Mulching, yes, great idea. Would you recommend compost from bin? Hops from the local brewery? No lawn cuttings at the moment!

What about cutting back those shrubs, bushes and so on which have grown far more this year than they have done in previous years in order to reduce the stress? Our apple tree, for example, surely has more foliage beyond the fruiting branches than it can sustain, despite being the recipient of grey water from the kitchen. We have started cutting back unnecessary growth. Should we do the same with shrubs? Might as well, I guess. No point letting shrubs exhaust themselves to death trying to support growth and endure drought when some pruning might keep it alive? Does that sound sensible?

Lots of ???s
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby Primrose » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:49 am

Am sure some light pruning of shrubs would be OK. If the ground were really moist, covering it with some of the cuttings temporarily would act as a mulch but right now we need every drop of rain which falls....if it ever does again, to be absorbed into the soil, not deflected away onto an upper layer of mulch.

We're saving grey water but it doesn't go very far. I'm wondering if digging some holes in the soil into which to pour it would help moisture get down to the roots of plants more easily, or does it simply mean that the sun's ray penetrate more deeply and dry out the soil even further down.

Yesterday I did bore holes near the roots of my cucumber plants in a border, poured down some water retaining crystals and then covered the holes in with soil again as an emergency measure. They are heavy with foiliage and mini cucumbers and I don't want to lose them.

I'm wondering whether covering vegetable areas over with fleece would protect them from the sun a little and slow down any water evaporation in the soil if it's been watered?
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby oldherbaceous » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:18 am

I was going to post the same infomation as Primrose, about making holes, or channels near to plants you are watering....it makes a huge difference.
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:39 am

Make a small circular depression round the base of plants and water into this. It stops the water from running off and all goes down to the roots.
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Re: Water saving thread

Postby Primrose » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:54 pm

And spare a thought for the poor fish!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-he ... r-44722945

I notice all the newts have fled from my mini pond. Wonder if it's because the water was getting too warm for them.
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