Hello and welcome to an hour in the garden No 69
We are looking into how water can be saved and how plants are helped in dry conditions
Today we chat about the garden being the home of man’s environment
Some great pictures from listeners
Tomatoes, chilies, peonies and iris
Potatoes, cabbage beans and carrot fly
Cutting back geraniums and ladies mantle
Taking lavender cuttings
Ways of saving water in an arid garden
This week we look a little at two plants in the cottage garden that we used to cultivate and no longer do – nettles (Urtica dioica) and dandelion, (Taraxicum officianale).
Nettles were used for food and rope making and even clothing. Dandelion is a brilliant tonic and helpf with so many problems, especially urinary ones, but can also help with fever. HOWEVER – please don’t diagnose or treat yourself! See a doctor!
We had some great pics from Betty Grindod in northern USA. She has such a wonderful garden, I am so jealous! She certainly puts me to shame. You can see them at www.kitchennewbie.comand click on the Garden Newbie link.
Please do send us your garden pics and tell us what you are doing in the garden. You can email us at email@example.com
Saving water in times of drought
Improve your soil
This is by far the best way of making your garden dry proof. Lots of organic material acts as a sponge, keeping water in the soil.
Sandy soil needs more water, large plants need more water, don’t soak the leaves, but water of the soil
Collect water – rain water especially, but use household (grey) water, especially on your flower beds
Concentrate on pots and containers
These run dry much more quickly than plants in beds.
Use appropriately, it keeps the evaporation down to a minimum and suppresses weed growth
Reduce leaf area
Taking away large leaves reduces evaporation, so taking a few out will save water
This will keep the plant from growing too much, so it will evaporate water less
I know it’s hot, but removing weeds and this will take away some evaporating pressure
Grow native and / or drought tolerant plants
If your garden is populated with plants that are not evolved for the environment, it may be better with plants more used to such conditions
In certain circumstances, hoeing round plants can bring water from deep in the soil to the root level of pants
A compost plug
In a clay soil create a plug of compressed compost in an hole and this will slowly draw water from the clay level
Please do send us your garden pictures, or just email us to tell us how you are getting on! We love to hear from you!!