When you have potted plants or a garden, you have to water regularly.
It is unthinkable to waste it, even to take care of its flowers.
Fortunately, there are simple and effective solutions to reduce your water consumption in the garden by half!
Here is 9 gardening secrets to save watering without hurting the plants. Look :
1. Make the right soil mixes
To save water and water less often, a soil mix helps retain moisture better.
Indeed, the potting mixes sold on the market dry much too quickly…
And some clay garden soil too.
To avoid this, it is better make your own mixes which need much less water. For instance :
– 50% garden soil + 50% compost
– 30% garden soil and 70% heather soil, especially for plants that need acidity
With these mixtures, you can halve your water consumption in the garden. Incredible, isn’t it?
2. Save the stones
If the earth contains small pebbles, do not remove them!
Especially for potted plants. Why ?
Because they help retain water without it going straight through the pot holes.
The finer the soil, the more water escapes without having had time to touch the roots.
As for the sand, do not put it in the ground, because it does not retain water.
On the contrary, water flows even faster with sand. So avoid!
3. Use clay pebbles
These small balls absorb water and redistribute it when the soil is dry.
The ideal is to put about 10% in relation to the volume of soil.
These balls are sold in small bag of 6 kg or in large quantities.
With these balls, you save up to 50% waterings.
Obviously, we do not put clay balls for cactus-type plants, because they do not have the same water needs.
4. Add pozzolana
Pozzolana is a volcanic stone crushed into pieces the size of clay balls.
It also retains water to release it slowly when the earth needs it.
The proportions are the same as for clay balls: 10% of the total amount of soil.
5. Put mulch around your plants
Mulching consists of placing plants at the foot of the plant as a protective layer between the earth and the air.
The layer should be at least 10 cm thick. This mulch (also called « mulch » in English) has many virtues:
– protect the plant from cold or extreme heat;
– prevent the growth of weeds;
– protect creeping fruits and vegetables such as pumpkins, cucumbers, strawberries or courgettes. These plants will crawl on a dry surface which avoids contact with humidity and related diseases;
– limit water evaporation whether in the garden or in flowerpots. With this technique, watering can be reduced by around 60%.
There are many types of mulch on the market: thin or thick pine bark, cocoa shells, flax fibers or dry wood residues.
Each of these mulches is layered 10 to 12 cm thick to save up to 50% watering.
6. Cover the soil with geotextile
The geotextile is a kind of woven veil that allows water to penetrate, but prevents weeds from growing.
You can cover the soil of flower pots, planters or a vegetable patch.
But also all flower beds or the entire garden.
This textile is available in different colors: grey, green, brown or black.
It can then be covered with mulch in a thin layer to camouflage it.
This technique makes it possible to considerably space out the waterings and to gain 50% of water.
7. Use cardboard
Cardboard can also be used as « mulching » provided that it is a cardboard without writing, because the ink can be toxic.
Cardboard is ideal for seasonal crops.
Cut a hole in the cardboard for the plant to pass through, and cover the ground with it.
It protects the roots of the plant from the sun and prevents water evaporation.
It absorbs water and redistributes it as soon as the soil is dry.
A good way to save watering by at least 50%.
As the cardboard is biodegradable, it has a fairly short lifespan (about 10 to 12 months), then it will have to be changed.
You find that cardboard is not too decorative?
Simply cover it with pine cones, grass clippings or pine bark to make it look prettier.
8. Put straw the old fashioned way
Yes, the name « mulch » comes from there!
In the old days, we simply spread a thick layer of straw over the crops to protect them.
The easiest way is to find straw in bales, because it’s easier to carry home.
Farmers will be able to sell it to you, or give you unusable leftovers from the previous season.
Straw keeps the earth cool and moistwe therefore reduce watering in periods of high heat.
To reduce the large stems a little, you can pass them with the mower: it scatters better afterwards.
How to do ? Put the straw on your freshly mown lawn closely.
Run the mower over the straw and collect the shredded result in the grass catcher.
You can now spread all this directly at the foot of your fruits and vegetables in pots or in the ground or even at the foot of the hedge.
9. Use your own plants to cover the ground
You can mulch your garden with your own plants that you dry.
It could not be easier !
When you prune your plants, let them dry and then cover the ground with them.
Perfect when cutting hedges, rhubarb leaves or when picking up dead leaves and grass clippings.
By protecting the soil in this way, not only do you save money because you don’t buy anything, but you save water too!
Indeed, the waterings are spaced several days apart from usual.
Have you tried these grandmother’s tricks to halve the watering in your garden? Let us know in the comments if it worked for you. We can’t wait to read you!
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Also to discover:
23 gardening tips to save tons of water in the garden.
How to Make Automatic Tomato Watering From a Bottle.