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No Watering November 16, 2008

Posted by liajo in How to tips.
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green20livingThis post is in response to a comment I had from Jeannie at http://pinecottage.wordpress.com.  She asked about gardening with water restrictions which can be tricking.  Actually she said they are not supposed to water outside at all.  Now those are tough gardening conditions.  I have a few ideas that might help some.

First is mulching.  I mulch everything.  It really does help to hold in any water plants get.  I don’t use anything fancy, just grass clippings and leaves.  Jeannie lives in a mountain area and pine needles are supposed to be great for mulching also.  

Second, recycle water.  I do this in two ways.  I have tubs and barrels all over the yard that catch rain water.  I even use the wheel barrel.  After a good rain, you’ll have water for a week or so.  If you have rain gutters on the house place a large barrel (55 gallons) at the down spout.  You can buy a complete system on line or make your own.  Make sure there is a cover.  It will help to keep the mosquito from breeding in the water. 

For container and house plants I recycle the rinse water from doing the dishes.  I don’t have a dish washers, so all the dishes are done by hand anyway.  Many plants, like roses, love a little bit of soapy water.  I even have friend who recycled her sons bath water.  When I was growing up I had an aunt that lived on a farm.  All the “gray water” from the house went straight to the vegetable garden.  This actually upsets water companies, something about only paying for the once and using it twice.  Give me a break.

Third, use a greenhouse.  This was my first summer growing vegetables in a greenhouse.  The tomatoes loved it.  A very little bit of water made nice humidity.  Something we don’t have much of in Colorado.  Pick the right type of plants though.  The peppers hated it, it was too wet for them.

Forth, try and buy native plants, especially flowers.  I’ve done a lot a reading on native plants and plan to choose my flowers more carefully.  Bottom line, if it’s native to the area, it should survive with the water mother nature provides.

I’ve never tried this last one but it may work.  Jeannie lives in an area that probably gets a lot of snow.  If you can recycle rain water, you might be able to recycle snow.  Here’s what I’m thinking.  Some type of barrel that can with stand the frost/freeze cycles.  Fill it with snow during the winter and let it melt.  If anybody has tried this let us know.

I must admit, I’ve never gardened with no water, that has got to be a challenge.  I hope some of the above ideas help and good luck.

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Comments»

1. Jeannie - November 16, 2008

Those are great tips for anyone, anywhere. Mulching does help so much and I do that. We’ve talked about having a greenhouse but since it would pose a problem with the watering one other thought is to add a sun room/greenhouse to the house as part of the structure–that gets us by the ‘no outside watering’ ordinances here–it’s inside! ha ha We used gray water once upon a time when we had a farm. With everyone trying to recycle I don’t understand why water companies don’t like the idea. I know having $$ in the bank drives alot of this thinking. Haven’t tried the snow idea. It gets so cold up here I wonder if it would end up being a frozen mass taking forever to thaw out. Thanks!


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