In this warmer weather it is natural to want to water your crops in order to keep them hydrated.
However, did you know that the association pay for water on a meter? Every year we spend several hundreds of pounds on water, and with increased water use it could become likely that we would need to increase rents again in the following year.
Here are some ideas you can use to reduce your water consumption:
water with a watering can or small container and not with a hose – making sure you only use the water you need around the plant you are rehydrating means that the weed seeds which are ever present in the soil aren’t triggered into life and it means that only the water you need is used, instead of it being wasted on ground not being used for growing such as paths
Mulch around your plants – putting a layer of compost, grass clippings, bark chippings, shredded newspaper etc around the soil near to your plants helps the soil beneath to remain cooler and means the surface isn’t exposed to the drying effects of the sun and wind, thus holding on to more moisture
Save your own water in a bucket or water butt. If you have a leaky polytunnel it is easy to catch the drips in a bucket.
Alternatively, place a water butt or sealed container outside and simply wait for it to rain!
But we’re in the north-east of England! We won’t run out of water!
Some people may also have seen that DEFRA have released a blog post to warn consumers of the chance of possible water shortages with demand outstripping supply by only 2050 – that may seem like a long way away, but the more we can do as individuals and as gardeners now to help slow that down, the better it will be for our next generations, and not only in the north-east, but all around the country.
Additionally; it is much easier to hoe off surface weeds when it is dry; the weeds fall to the surface and don’t have a moist environment in which to re-root.
So by hoeing when it is dry, not only will you stand a better chance of combating surface weeds, you’ll also break up the surface of the soil so that when it does rain, the water will penetrate into the ground more easily rather than running off and not doing much to hydrate your crops.