Jump to content


Photo

Decreasing water usage in veggie garden & DIY ferts


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 gtarman

gtarman

    Garden-variety Plant Hermit

  • Trusted Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,657 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Climate or location:SUBTROPICS

Posted 31 August 2015 - 07:28 PM

Hey again folks.

 

I'm finally back out in the garden and I thought it would be cool to ask if anyone here has some tips on how to make a veggie garden most efficient in terms of water usage - are there any tricks that will make the most of the water you do use? Currently I've got a thick layer of mulch, and I water overhead with a 9L watering can about as often as needed depending on temps. I'm also trying to give plants more of a basin to grow in when I plant them so the water doesn't run off.

 

Anybody got any different watering methods that might be more efficient? Any other cool tricks or ideas? I've been thinking about messing around with those water crystals but I sorta feel like that's cheating.

 

Also interested to know if anyone makes their own fertilizer and how they do that. I'm trying to rely less on external inputs and large amounts of water and store-bought fertilizers, be more self-reliant and whatnot. I don't have any animals because of council regs but I've heard of people making something called weed tea? Also interested in learning more about DIY wormfarms.

 

 

Cheers y'all!



#2 alfamiller

alfamiller

    Psychonaut

  • Members2
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:gold coast
  • Interests:plenty :)
  • Climate or location:temperate/sub tropical

Posted 31 August 2015 - 10:03 PM

worm farms are great! ive got 2 on the go, about once a week my veggies get a little worm juice.

 

I've  used old 2L bottles with a 6 inch length of pipe attached to the end. the pipe is plugged up at the end and very small holes drilled in the sides. i put the pipe into the ground just next to a seedling and as the water slowly comes out its right where the plant wants it. takes about 2-5 days to empty. great for brassicas and cabbage also plants that don't like getting dry like cucumber.

 

compost is gold!!  best fertilizer EVER! and its free free free an smells good too :)

 

water crystals are fun to play with but ive not found them to be any better than compost rich soil when it comes to water saving also they only last about 12 -18 months then seem to turn to sludge and disperse.

 

mulching with fresh cut mulch (the stuff you can get free from tree loppers) is also a good water saver as it attracts different fungi and microorganisms as it slowly ages and breaks down. i forget the details of how this works but has made a big difference for me. 


  • gtarman and MountainGoat like this

#3 MountainGoat

MountainGoat

    Psychonaut

  • Members2
  • PipPip
  • 117 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Life and the nature of reality
  • Climate or location:Tropical

Posted 01 September 2015 - 07:07 AM

cool, it looks like you have most bases covered for water saving. An area for investigation might be to use larger trees as wind-breaks, trees also act as a surface for airborne humidity to collect on and fall to the lands surface. Furthermore, trees can be used to manipulate the rain to fall in bands leaving wetter and dryer areas within the garden... 


  • gtarman and alfamiller like this

#4 Etho

Etho

    Day Tripper

  • Members2
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Climate or location:Temperate

Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:05 AM

I like to use a straw/haw based mulch on veggie gardens about 3" deep. This in combination with a drip system on a well drained raised bed will help.

Weed compost tea is great! just go picking weeds in parks, vacant land anywhere, very easy to fill a 20l pail in a few minute's. Give them a good chop up in the bucket to increase surface area and aid in decomposition, add water and fill up to within an inch of the top (DO NOT FIT A TIGHT FITTING LID!) cover and put away from the prevailing breeze as will smell fruity! leave 4-5 weeks, strain 'tea' into a container and add the rotted weeds to the compost bin. Dilute 1 part tea 10 parts water. Even better if you have a fertigation set up so you can feed via reticulation (on the ever expanding wish list).

This same process can be applied with seaweed (where legal to harvest).


  • Yeti101 and gtarman like this

#5 gtarman

gtarman

    Garden-variety Plant Hermit

  • Trusted Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,657 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Climate or location:SUBTROPICS

Posted 01 September 2015 - 02:56 PM

Thanks guys, great info!



#6 theuserformallyknownasd00d

theuserformallyknownasd00d

    Shaman's Apprentice

  • Members2
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,671 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Climate or location:Sth Coast NSW

Posted 01 September 2015 - 05:15 PM

Digging sugar cane multi through my veggie patch at the start of season really helped keep some moisture in and provides nutes as it breaks down. Lay those green soaker hoses under your mulch, that's a def winner
  • gtarman likes this

#7 shortly

shortly

    Shaman's Apprentice

  • Members2
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,363 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Subtropical Coastal
  • Interests:You can guess but you'd probably still be wrong
  • Climate or location:sub-tropical

Posted Yesterday, 06:54 AM

Wicking worm beds are a great way to use a minimum of water. Coupled with lotsa mulch. 


  • gtarman likes this

#8 gtarman

gtarman

    Garden-variety Plant Hermit

  • Trusted Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,657 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Climate or location:SUBTROPICS

Posted Yesterday, 10:09 AM

What's a wicking worm bed?