Posts Tagged water saving

Drought declared & 10 top tips on water saving

Today, offically the South East has been declared as in drought.

If you’re a regular reader to my blog, you’ll know I’m not that worried because I’ve beefed up my water catchment to just under 4,000 ltrs.  Currently they’re all full (infact overflowing!) and I’ve been draining them to make room for the next rainfall.  The backgarden is so full of water I’m constantly wary of being sucked under when making my way about – and when I return to the house I’m usually a few inches taller due to the mud.

I’m also already on a water meter.  My showers are a mere 3-4 minutes a day and at a push I’d be happy to shower every other day.

I don’t think everyone has the room for 3×1000 litre IBCs above ground, but if they did I think they’d find the idea of drought much less terrifying.

Some tips:

1.) Don’t leave the tap running when brushing teeth
2.) Avoid power showers, when showering turn off after wetting down, soap up and then wash off miltary style.  I’m proud my wife has been doing this for years… I hate doing it and rather have a shorter shower – but I have GI Joe hair.
3.) Use a bowl when washing up.  Throw excess water down the toilet to ‘flush’ it.
4.) Install a flush bag – contact your local water company, they have lots of free clever gadgets for taps and toilets.
5.) If washing up, whilst waiting for the hot water to run through, catch the cold in a bucket, it can be used on your veg.
6.) Only slightly soapy water can be used on flowers.
7.) Like a long shower?  Take the washing up in with you.
8.) Ignore the lawn.  It’s grass and it’ll grow back.  Concentrate on fruit and veg plants.  Install a root waterer (cut the bottom of a bottle off and bury it next to the roots – or use a section of drain pipe!) and water the roots direct
9.) Only water plants last thing at night or first thing in the morning before the sun comes up.
10.) Mulch round plants with straw/manure.  This just means spreading some around the base of the plant.  Less water is lost through evaporation.

Is there likely to be a hosepipe ban in Essex?  If the BBC’s website is to be believed, possibly not as we’re only listed as a moderate risk as opposed to Londons high risk.  Only time will tell!

More to the point, tens of thousands of new homes are in the planning stages around the area, yet where is the water coming from to supply them?

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Didn’t have much time today to do anything due to the camp I was on with my scout troop – we only really had time to get a cup of coffee on in the morning on my shiny kelly kettle (a must for allotments or perminant base camping! img_0670





First potatoes of the season – lovely in our stew






Tomatoes with pipe water saving feature – just fill the pipe with water and you water the roots without letting the clay soil get to wet or too hard!






Three sisters bed – planted with corn from, climbing french beans, courgettes, pumpkins, buttercup squash and a mystery squash.  Also there’s a few marigolds there.  Not by design, I just needed somewhere to shove them after my mini green house fell to pieces.






 A view of one of the sections on our ‘harlow carr 3×3’ immitation beds.  This is planted quite closely with sweetcorn and another variety of climbing beans.  You can also see the corner of our broad bean section, lollo rosa lettuce (I think that’s how you spell it) and brussel sprouts (yuk!)






The missus to be (we’re getting married in far less than a month) with the chicken manure.  Lovely.  See how much weight she’s lost, very thin! (that should earn me some brownie points!)  You can also see the potato bed and the rhubarb I split this year behind her (near the bamboo poles)






  First set of strawberries ripening on the plants.  They’re delicious.  So far I’ve had four, Hels has had two.






  Some of the tomatoes I put in – I dug over a very small section which used to be a compost heap and put plant pots in – much like the pipes with the tomatoes above, the pots help feed the roots with water rather than letting the water run over the surface.  It means watering time is much reduced because I only water specific parts, I water less and the plants roots dig deeper.  Handy for feeding too!


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