Not everyone has the time, skill or money it takes to implement drought solutions in the home garden. Thank goodness there are simple water saving solutions like these.
Double or wicked double bucket gardens
These are made by placing two buckets inside one another. The top bucket contains the plant and soil. It drains into the bottom bucket through drilled holes. The plant gets watered once. However, next time it needs water, it’s extended roots absorb water from the bottom bucket.
The wick trick:
It takes time for plant roots to grow long enough to reach the water in the bottom bucket reservoir. Until they do, try placing a cloth wick in the center hole of the top bucket. Make it long enough to reach the inside bottom of the bottom bucket. This way, the plant gets all the valuable drained water when it needs it. Less water is lost to evaporation or dissipation.
Note: By using recycled buckets such as the ones kitty litter comes in, you also save the considerable amount of water it takes to manufacture new buckets.
Placing hanging plants to save water
Rather than placing hanging plants so that water runs onto the ground, why not place them over another plant? Preferably a bucket plant. Now you physically water once but get three times the water usage. You water the hanging plant. The hanging plant drains into the bucket plant. The bucket plant drains into the bottom bucket. The bucket plant soaks up the bottom bucket drain water next time it’s thirsty. Talk about the power of three!
Rain barrel substitutes
Collecting water for gardening and other uses in rain barrels is frowned upon by some municipalities. No problem.
- Automatic watering devices can be made by cutting out the bottom of plastic bottles and jugs. They collect rainwater too.
- Roof drain water can be routed to the garden with flexible plastic sewer pipe.
- Buckets can be placed at the end of each garden row to collect rain water.
- Water from kiddie pools should not be thrown out. Use it to water the garden instead.
Water plants individually to save water.
In conventional gardening, much water is lost by watering the entire garden. To curb water usage in a drought, try watering only the area immediately surrounding each plant.
- This method can be improved upon by using coffee cans with both ends open. Bury the container and plant in it. Soil will stay contained to the immediate area of the plant. Roots will have plenty of room to spread.
- When hand watering, bend the hose between plants to temporarily cut off the water supply.