Much of South Africa is currently experiencing a strong heat wave and many parts of the country have also been gripped by a terrible drought, especially in the Western Cape. With the increase in spring-summer temperatures, damn levels decreasing and very tight water restrictions, you’re very likely wondering how you’re going to continue watering and maintaining your beloved vegetable garden?
Here are some water saving tips that you can try.
As the temperature rises in most parts of the country, mulching your garden is very important. Mulching is the placing of a certain material over the soil, applied in a layer. This hampers the growth of weeds and regulates soil temperature; it also helps to retain moisture in the soil so that evaporation doesn’t occur soon after you have watered your garden. Just ensure that you mulch when the plants are at least 4cm high and don’t place the mulch too close to the stems of your plant because they will rot. You can use compost, straw, sawdust or grass clippings.
Fresh water from your shower or bathtub:
Yes, that water that we don’t really think of that just goes down the drain can be beneficial to your garden. The water running for the few seconds while you’re waiting for your shower or bathtub to heat up can accumulate very quickly. Don’t let that water go to waste, rather collect that cold water in a bucket and you’ll have at least two days of water for your garden.
To save water re-use water from washing your dishes, laundry (no fabric softer or bleach) or bath and shower. It is crucial that you use this water immediately and directly onto the soil, not on the edible parts of your plants. Also, make sure that there aren’t any pieces of food in the dishwashing water as this could attract unwanted pests in your garden.
Reel Gardening seed tape:
Planting with Reel Gardening Seed Tape saves 80% of water consumption in the germination phase. The Seed Tape shows you exactly where your seeds are in the soil, enabling you to only water directly on your seeds instead of the whole area of your garden. To get your Reel Gardening seed tape and save water while gardening visit our Online Store.
The Reel Gardening Grow Pod:
The material of the Grow Pod is made from recycled cold drink bottles and thus makes it easy to retain water so you use much less water on your plants. It also comes with a weed guard-which serves the purpose of mulching (regulating moisture and preventing evaporation soon after you have watered). If you would like to get growing with your own Grow Pod you can get it here.
When it does rain, (which will happen often during summer), make sure that you have a few buckets outside to collect the rainwater in. This water must be stored out of sunlight so it doesn’t evaporate and can be used on your garden for several days after rainfall depending on how much water was collected.
Water your plants either early in the morning, or in the evening to prevent quick evaporation before your plants get to use the water.
Thank you for reading and we hope that you will find these water saving tips useful! Please also remember during the heat wave you should wear protective, cool lightweight clothing that is not constricting and take breaks while working in your garden. Wearing a hat and sunblock is also very important. Remember that not only do your plants need water so do you, it is extremely important that you stay hydrated while outside.