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Tips to conserve water in your garden
Water is an essential resource in your garden as well as in your home. Water conservation is crucial because of the following reason. For once, there is need to save on water bills. When the demand for water is high, water suppliers result in tapping water from streams and lakes. It can lead to environmental degradation hence water prices shooting up. For more information on water prices you can contact Yorkshire WaterHere are tips on how you can conserve water in your garden and manage water economically.
Take care of your soil
It is achieved through the addition of organic matter to the soil. This improves the soil structure and aids in retention of moisture. Mulching is also another significant way of preventing loss of moisture from your ground. Mulch helps to avoid evaporation from the soil surface, smothers water-thieving weeds and sometimes adds much-needed nutrients to the soil.
Water at the correct time
Most gardeners usually water their gardens with too much water. This is strenuous, and a lot of water is wasted in the process. Check if the soil needs any watering by digging about a spade-deep. If it’s wet, it is okay, but when dry, you need to water. Different types of soil have various indications of the water level. Watering your garden before the drought season begins keeps the moisture levels high preventing any water deficit. You should water your garden in the evening to control evaporation.
Use the correct amount of water
The amount of water depends entirely on the soil type and the type of plants. Sandy soils require more frequent watering than the heavy soils. Always water plants depending on their water level needs. You should grow plants that have low water use. Using the wrong amounts of water can result in:• drainage of useful nutrients• lack of oxygen in the soil pores resulting to root rotting and other plant diseases• results to huge water bills
Recycle old water and collect rainwater
Water from utensils, the shower or washing machines can be reused. You can purchase water diverters that redirect water from your showers to an irrigation system. Soaps and detergents used in the house are safe for plants. Avoid water that has disinfectant or any strong cleaning agents. They could damage crops, destroy the soil structure or cause health hazards.You should try to trap rainwater during the rainy season so that you use it to water your garden during the dry season. Even in the dry parts of UK, it is possible to collect a reasonable amount of water. Divert rainwater from your drainpipe into an irrigation system.
Utilise the top watering techniques for your plants
Some of these best methods include water sprinklers, watering cans and hoses, seep hoses and automated irrigation systems.• Sprinklers cover large areas and help to wet the unplanted areas.• Hoses and watering can need a high amount of labour, but they do a thorough job in watering plants.• Seep hoses let out little amounts of water on the soil, and they can be put underground or in mulch to prevent evaporation.
Prepare your compost
Compost is an essential addition to the soil as it aids in moisture retention in sandy soils and makes drainage better in clay soils. Compost preparation is effortless and helps boost a healthy food chain in the soil.
Always space plants tightly
Planting plants tightly help to bring out a beautiful and organised design. Also, it helps to shade the soil hence avoiding evaporation. Plants that are closely planted act as living mulch and also help to smother weeds.
Nothing beats fresh herbs when you are cooking. We get so used to using the dried variety that we forget the sheer power of using them when they've just been cut from a living plant. Get out your green fingers and prepare to upgrade your meals!
Very basically the herbs you can grow at home come in two forms. The truly herbaceous plants grow all year round and can grow into bushes. The annual herbs can go to seed and need to be treated differently.
All year round herbs
Rosemary is a glorious herb when fresh. It chops easily, melts into a meal and really adds sparkle. The dried variety is woody and nasty in comparison. Fortunately rosemary will grow all year round quite healthily so you will always have some ready. The problem with rosemary is that it will take over. Always plant it in a very large pot and then bury that pot, this will stop the roots spreading and taking everything over. Do the same for mint that can spread like wildfire.Bay, curry leaf, thyme and oregano all grow well but slowly. Take the time to cultivate them before pruning and they will reward you with gorgeous all year round flavour. Be wary though that thyme leafs renew and older leafs that get little light can become woody.
The important thing with annuals is to ensure that you stagger the planting of them so that there is always another batch ready to go. Green houses can prolong the season for these but remember that many plants judge the time of year on day length rather than temperature so this won't always work. Coriander will make every meal sing and can be used as a salad leaf too. This herb is amazing and you'll think it will never run out... until it does. Once the first flowers appear you are living on borrowed time but hopefully your next batch will be ready to use. Remember to dry and store the seeds to use as spices.Tarragon is a little delicate but worth the effort. Generally it does well in a large pot. Basil is a different story. Slugs adore basil and will demolish even the largest of crops before you even realise they are there. Be mindful of this herb, protect it and ensure that no mollusc gets to it. Your patrols will be well worth it when you try fresh basil in soup, salads and pasta. Nothing will prepare you for the freshness that it brings.
Plant or seed
The cheapest option is to grow from seed but this does take a very long time, especially for the woodier plants. Supermarket potted herbs can grow great guns if properly looked after but the real winners are those from the garden centre. For the best results buy well established plants but even the straggliest runt of the litter can flourish at home in good soil!