View Full Version : How do you conserve water?

05-28-2008, 09:55 PM
I'm always wanting to find ways to converse water but not at the expense of my plants dying! Does anyone use any methods to keep water usage from the faucet at a minimum? Our water bills are just one more headache I'd like to cut down a bit if possible.

05-28-2008, 11:42 PM
I think drip systems or soaker hoses are the best way to water plants. I see no reason to have water shooting up in the air the way it does when using a sprinkler.

05-29-2008, 01:42 AM
A rain barrel will let you store rainfall for use in the garden. A brief rain can fill it up.

Water absorbing crystals you scatter in your garden, put in pots, or otherwise place where more water is needed and after rains (or waterings) they puff up crazy huge (from a grain of sand to a mini marshmallow or bigger) and slowly release that added water over the course of hours to a day or more.

05-29-2008, 03:33 PM
A rain barrel is a good idea. You could even have a spigot attached to it with drip hoses for when the dry weather returns. And also, mulching heavily around your plants will help conserve moisture.

05-29-2008, 08:54 PM
We have a barrel under one if the rain spouts on the garage. We use this water to water all of flowers and plants.

07-29-2008, 03:32 AM
Having rain barrels with covers to keep out the mosquitoes and a tap at the bottom to connect your hose are ideal. The rain water is much better than tap water if you are in an area where your water is chlorinated. The more barrels you have, the less you must rely on tap water.

A second idea is to mulch your plants. A 2 to 4 inch mulch is great to keep the soil moist even in the hottest weather. An added advantage is that you'll have a lot less weeding to do.

A third option is to follow what is called the deep watering method which can save you time, water, and money. The idea is to water less often but more deeply.
Hope this will help.

07-31-2008, 09:59 PM
one tip for rain barrels is to raise them up high on a platform or cinderblocks or something, to help gravity give you a better water flow out the bottom hose.

08-06-2008, 07:58 PM
I just dont bathe. haha, just kidding. I just try and be concious about how much water im using.

04-28-2009, 05:02 PM
These few tips will help you conserve water in the garden.
Incorporate organic matter into your soil to help retain water in the soil.
After the soil has warmed and the plants are planted, keep an organic mulch of 1 to 3 inches on the garden to prevent evaporation and keep the soil from getting too warm.
Water early in the morning so the water will sink in without evaporating.
Use drip irrigation so that the water goes right to the roots where it is needed. Never water anything overhead except the lawn.

06-07-2009, 05:36 PM
I just read that putting a goldfish or two in your rainbarrel will keep mosquitoes from hatching in your rain barrel. An added bonus is the nutrients from goldfish "poop" though, admittedly, there won't be much "poop" from one or 2 goldfish in a 55 gallon barrel.

06-21-2009, 06:21 PM
Most of my garden consists of corn and green beans. I do not water those unless there is an extended dry spell. I have a large garden (I planted almost 4 lbs of each kind of seed) and if the plants are showing signs of heat stress and there is no indication that it will rain soon, I go to my local co-op and get one of their 1000 gallon tanks full of water and put it on my garden. I do that once per week until the dry spell breaks. Letting the plants get a little thirsty before they get more water forces them to push their roots deeper looking for water. That makes it become a sturdier plant that can withstand short dry spells without becoming stressed. I usually have a few tomato, zucchini and cucumber plants also. They are a little more water sensitive, but I let them get a little thirsty also.

07-03-2009, 12:49 PM
For the Garden:

* I reuse the rinse water for my dishes to water the house plants.
* I use the water from cooking pasta and vegetables to water the gardens.
* I keep buckets in drain-off spots around the trailer for garden use. This is the biggest money saver that I have in place. At some point I would like to have rain barrels set into place, but I will continue to use buckets until I can afford to switch.
* I also use leftover water, tea and coffee from cups to water my house plants.
* During the summer months, after working in the garden or walking, I will take a cool shower. I will only shower like this for a minute, just enough to cool off, and I always put a bucket under the shower head when I am not using soap. This water is also used in the garden.
* I do watering for my garden at strategic times of day (such as in the evening).
* Install an Irrigation System:
Consider the installation of a sprinkler or irrigation system for your lawn. Irrigation systems work great at targeting the specific areas of your lawn that need to be watered thus cutting back on unnecessary watering of unneeded areas. Plus, irrigation systems often come with a timer option which would further help cut back on over watering, all too often we set the sprinkler out in the lawn and forget to move it or turn it of. A timer is a great way to prevent this.

07-05-2009, 10:09 AM
If you use air conditioners like most people, they will produce quite a bit of water. In hot weather our central ac has produced 15 - 20 gallons per day.

Country Sunshine
07-07-2009, 11:35 PM
I catch rain water in old cat litter buckets and put lids on them and then use that water for my house plants. In the veggie beds, I mulch with a layer of old newpapers, (no colored ink please) and put alfalfa straw over the top of that. It keeps the soil from drying out so quickly and keeps the roots cooler too. Plus the newspapers and straw break down and you can incorporate that all right into the soil. I have raised beds that I grow my veggies in. Getting too old for a tiller anymore.:cool:


Greenscene Gardenscope
08-25-2011, 02:32 AM
As a Brisbane Landscaper I've seen floods and droughts in the last five years. Today we use a combination of methods to conserve water. These include initial garden design ie. plant selection, sub surface irrigation drip lines - far more efficient than sprinklers, automatic controllers connected to rain sensors that stop watering in wet periods and dual water connections that use rainwater (tanks) when available and convert to mains water supply as required. http://www.greenscenegardenscope.com.au

09-30-2011, 06:06 PM
mulching seems to help lock in some of that moisture.

Organic Gardener
10-01-2011, 02:08 AM
Water your garden with a watering can as often as possible. This will put the water exactly where you want it and keep the leaves of the plants dry so you keep diseases at bay. Obviously, a rain barrel will be handy for that also.
I've had absolutely no success with soaker hoses, by the way - they break often and aren't worth the effort.

Mr Yan
10-01-2011, 03:19 PM
I have about 60 gallons of rain water collection which I built cheaply - less than $30 over three years. This consists of two standard 32 gallon trash cans which I've linked with garden hose and thru-wall fittings about 3 inches above the bottom of the cans. These are filled from the gutter on one side of my two car garage. The rain pigs provided all I needed this year except for two or three times where I just used the water out of my daughter's kiddy pool.

I also use sub-irrigated or self-watering containers. These have a lower reservoir of water which gets wicked up into the grow media. The top of the grow media is then covered with plastic so the only water loss from the system is through the plant. (Earthbox is a brand name but I built 25 of my own).

I am thinking of building some olla containers for direct ground irrigation next year. I'll use a little caulk and two clay flower pots.

11-23-2011, 08:06 PM
The rain water is much better than tap water if you are in an area where your water is chlorinated. The more barrels you have, the less you must rely on tap water.

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11-25-2011, 04:15 PM
I agree wholeheartedly, s8vm632! We don't have "rain barrels" per say, but we do collect the water that runs off of our garage (which is quite a lot) into a couple metal wash tubs and some empty 5 gal buckets. I fill up a watering can with that rainwater and sprinkle my flowers, herbs, and veggies during dry spells. :)

I also use wood mulch and grass clippings to help hold in moisture.