When the weather’s dry, your garden needs more water. But don’t waste this precious resource! Here’s how to use water in smarter ways for a healthier summer garden.
Use Leftover Cooking Water
Instead of throwing out excess water you’ve boiled while cooking, allow it to cool down and then use it to water your plants. If you’ve boiled spinach, potatoes or pasta, their excess water can be especially good for the garden. But take note: avoid adding salt to the water when boiling those foods as it is unhealthy for plants. Water from boiling spinach contains iron and potassium, while starchy water from pasta or potatoes will encourage the release of plant nutrients into the soil.
Choose Water-Friendly Plants
Plants that don’t require much water are a dream to look after. Some of the species that only need a bit of moisture include plants with slender or small leaves, plants that have hairy leaves, and succulents.
Gardening Tip: Be sure not to water plants during the hottest time of the day, especially when it comes to plants with hairy leaves such as geraniums. The drops of water can get trapped by the plant’s hairy fibres, which magnifies the sun’s rays and can actually burn the plant.
Put Your Gutters to Work
After a gorgeous rainstorm, collect water from your gutters by placing buckets underneath them. This prevents your gutters from streaming water down onto the ground where it’s just going to waste.
Place Soaker Hoses in Flower Beds
Attach a soaker to your garden hose so that it will be able to saturate the ground in flower beds. This is a good way to direct water to where you need it and you won’t have to water the ground too often because it penetrates well.
Buy Water Crystals
Water-retaining crystals are a must-have for the garden. When placed in pots, these can preserve water in containers so that you won’t have to water the plants too often. You can find water retaining crystals here.
Choose the Right Pots
The types of pots you choose can make a big difference in how hydrated your plants and flowers remain. Clay pots are highly porous, so avoid them. Rather choose metal, glass or plastic containers to prevent the loss of moisture.
Creative pot idea: If your children have a small kiddie’s pool they no longer use, fill it hallway with water and then place smaller pots into it. This is a fun way to display pots in the garden, especially if the pool is a bright colour, plus the plants will absorb water from the bottom of their pots and remain hydrated for days!