A garden needs five things to make it thrive; air, light, water and soil are four that in varying degrees nature will provide but the fifth and certainly not the least is the care and attention of a gardener.
The gardener maintains the balance in the garden, the balance between Civilization and Nature and this work provides the gardener with flowers, fruit, herbs, vegetables and much more.
The wise gardener feeds the soil and pits the right plant in the right place; both help ensure that the plants flourish.
Healthy soil that is rich in organic matter attracts earthworms and millions of other tiny garden helpers who tend the soil and aerate it thus making sure the plant’s roots get the air they need.
If we are lucky the rainfall is sufficient to keep the garden alive and growing; if we are wise we use plants that are adapted to the ecosystem they inhabit and can do well with a minimum of attention.
Often, though, we may need to water during dry spells which in some region seem to be more common that they once were.
There are a number of techniques that you and use to reduce your reliance on the tap or see that when you do have to turn the faucet on you get the most value for your usage.
If you can collect rainwater during the rainy periods so that you have water for your garden during the dry spells. Rain barrels are a simple way to achieve this.
Think about this, the next time it rains take a look at all the water running down your driveway and along the street; now consider that if instead of letting that precious resource flow into the sewage system, you and others collected it and used it on the garden.
You would not only conserve water and save money you would move from treating rain water like waste and seeing its inherent value.
Now, if you have just set up your rain barrel and it has not rained, it will not be able to supply you with water; so if you have to water the tomatoes, for example, use a drip irrigation system that is set on a timer. Water in the early morning and give the plants a good deep drink.
If you want to grow cutflowers try to work with native and perennial plants as they will be better able to handle the dry conditions of a long dry spell.
The videos and links accompanying this hub will help you make some decisions when it comes to reducing your water needs and having your garden as well.
- Water Wise Gardening - Watersmart Outdoors - Region of Peel
- Using Rain Barrels for Water Collection
Collecting rainwater for use during dry months in rain barrels or other depositories is an ancient and traditional practice.
ollas (unglazed clay pots)
- The Rainwater Connection Home Page
The Rainwater Collections is active on the West Coast of British Columbia designing and implementing rainwater collection/harvesting systems. Rainwater is a sustainable alternative to well water.