Water is becoming an ever increasingly precious commodity. Honestly if you don’t know that by now you have been living either under a rock or on Mars. The drought though was well and truly bought home to us last week by the announcement that at best we will get 5 % of our irrigation water entitlement – at worst – nothing. Now 5% sounds like a bit – in fact it would be 200,000 litres or there abouts – but when you have two acres of garden, orchard and vegies to keep alive that’s not a lot.
As a result of this some hard and difficult decisions have had to be made. There is only so much I can keep alive by bucket watering with grey water from the laundry and kitchen – the rest of the garden will have to survive as best it can. There have been some successes though with some of the stranger ideas I have come up with to preserve my precious plants.
Ashley has heaps of poly pipe in the shed that really isn’t being use for anything so I have been raiding it. This pipe runs around two sides of the second pergola. I planted box plants all along two edges in the hope they will provide a good screen and wind break when they finally grow up. Watering them was always going to be a bit tricky as there are nearly thirty plants and making sure they were watered evenly would be difficult. Hence the pipe. It runs around both sides of the concrete and has a small hole drilled into it every 30 cm at the bottom of the pipe. Each box plant is planted at a hole (makes getting them in a line nice and easy….vbg) and then heavily mulched with paper and pea straw. Now the pump on the dam is running – I stick the hose in that curved end and in less than five minutes every plant is watered nicely, all with the same amount of water and with no loss. Brilliant.
Mum has a friend who offered this suggestion so I am trialling it. She “plants” a plastic plant pot in the ground, buried to it’s rim, near each of her roses then pours just enough water in this pot to fill it.
The water drains out of the holes fairly quickly and the rose is watered easily. I probably should have”planted” this pot a bit closer to the rose – but so far so good. I was worried that as the rose grew I wouldn’t be able to find the pot as it is one of those ground cover roses. I am going to try this on all my roses and just see how it goes. Mum’s friend said roses only need a bit of a drink once a week and that’s all mine will be getting – if it keeps them alive then I will consider it a success. Of course it goes without saying Mulch is essential if you want to keep the ground moist and cool during the long hot days that are to come.
Having said all that – check out my stunning (and only) wall flower that is blooming beautifully despite not being watered and up to two days ago being buried by weeds.