Written by Cheralee Lubbe
Plumbers have the power to spread the word on conserving water. Invest in our future.
Tips you can give your customers to conserve water in the garden:
- Watering the garden only when needed
Suggest to your customers that they should check if the soil they are about to water is cool and damp below the surface, by making a small whole in the ground.
- Time your watering
Point out that it is best to water gardens in the morning, as water will evaporate in the heat of the afternoon. The plants will also have enough time to dry before night fall. This way it can minimize problems with slugs and fungal diseases.
- Take Careful Aim
Customers should know that it is best to water their plants directedly on the base of the plant rather than the leaves. They should also be sure to water their plants heavily, as plants develop better root systems if they are watered a lot occasionally rather than a little bit and often.
- Trap Water
Customers can create small water reservoirs by sinking plastic pots into the soil and fill it up with water to place next to thirsty plants such as squash. This will ensure gradual water seepage into the soil and will ensure that the water is delivered directly to the root system instead of running off the surface.
- Irrigate Efficiently
Suggest to invest in a sprinkler system with a timer, as they are much more efficient than leaking hoses or automatic drip irrigation. An eye should also be kept on the weather forecast to ensure not watering when there is going to be a rainy day.
- Pick Pots with Care
Inform customers to invest in buying plastic or glazed pots as clay pots wick moisture out of the potting soil and metal pots heat up too quickly. It is also optimal to cluster pots together to cast shade and slow evaporation.
- Add Organic Matter
Customers should know that it is important to add well-rotted compost or manure to beds to their soil, to ensure better absorption and moisture retention.
- Lay Mulch Regularly
Adding pebbles, grass clippings or well-rotted compost such as mulch over bare soil, can dramatically reduce water evaporation. Avoid materials such as wood chippings, as the water evaporates too quickly. Make sure to layer the mulch about 5cm in thickness over the soil and keep it topped up during summer.
- Harvest Rainwater
Inform customers to start harvesting water, while referring to the local water harvesting laws. Suggest that water can be collected off the roof of their house, shed and greenhouse, which can then be directed into water barrels or tanks. These barrels or tanks should be placed in a location close to where they will need water the most.
- Keep Your Beds Weeded
Inform customers to prevent weeds competing with their plants for the available soil moisture, by eradicating annual and perennial weeds.