Monday, July 9, 2012

Gardening with "Waste" Water

With the drought still gripping a huge portion of the United States, we'd be wise to look to our home gardens. If you've put one in and are now looking at some sky high water bills, start thinking about ways to use water that otherwise would go to waste. Here are a few ideas I've come up with, but if you have more, I'd love to hear about them.

You'll need a watering can and at least one bucket. Set the bucket in a handy place and use it to gather water from the household. When it's full, pour it into the watering can and go water the garden!

To tell if a certain area needs water, poke your finger in the soil. If you can see dry dirt for more than an inch, it needs water. If you see damp soil, leave that area alone and concentrate on an area where it needs it more. Make a route that you follow so that you don't forget a part of the garden.
  • Put a bowl or bucket under the kitchen faucet to catch those little drips you don't even think about. You'll also catch the water you run while it's cooling down or heating up.
  • Save water from cooked vegetables. Don't salt them until they're on the plate and the water will be good for watering plants.
  • Save leftover tea and coffee to water with.
  • If or when you hand wash dishes, save the rinse water to use on the garden.
  • Put a bucket or two in the shower to catch water. One set farthest away from you will catch only clean water and you can use that for food. Put one between you and the drain and that water can be used for flowers or lawns (because it will have soap, etc. in it).
  • Add leftover or spoiled milk to the water you've saved and pour it on the garden. It adds calcium to the soil.
  • Grab glasses with a bit of ice in them and put that in your garden water.
  • Rinse dishes over a pan and pour that water out on the garden. Think about it each time you use water for anything. Don't waste it.
Save every drop of water in any form. You might be surprised at how much of your garden you can keep watered that way.