Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hi and good day from a very hot and sunny Thailand.
We are experiencing some very hot weather of late ,and sort of brings me today's subject , water.

After the annual Songrakon festival which is a Buddhist renewal ceremony and celebrates a new year.
This celebration involves lots of water getting thrown about with gay abandon at each other and usually no one escapes from it unless you lock yourself away for a week .

Although in the tourist areas this can go on for more like two,getting the most dollar i suspect.

While i see all this water been thrown about and people having fun me included ,there is a thought process going on . Where is this water coming from and at what cost to the people .

As those in western countries are charged quite serious dollars now for water as the utility's charges are quite high and depending on where you live can be more than a gallon of petrol.

Along with the restrictions they place in summer time ,so water usage is a major concern of most of us in the western world.

Which brings me to the garden ,how to save water ?  What can we do at a home level to still have the gardens we love and enjoy without increasing water consumption.

One of the critical factors in water usage in the garden is planning.Plant selection is crucial for longevity of plants and at same time reducing our dependence on water.

If one lives in a dry environment such as the dryer states in USA and Australia or where water is a scarce item we need to select local plants that are acclimatised for it.

Cacti ,succulents ,local grasses, local trees which with a plan can offer very attractive solution.  It doesn,t mean you have to have a lunar landscape or a desert theme although they can look real good.

The above example are plants with low water requirements and when planted together as in covering the ground and combined with a good mulch will reduce water.

Ask yourself do you really need a massive lawn area ,reducing that can substantially reduce water consumption ,whilst working as a contractor in Western Australia i was often employed to take out peoples lawns and replace with native plants and a inorganic or organic mulch just so to save money and reduce watering. As most councils in Australia enforce watering restrictions for quite long periods of time.

So  after thinking about your plants ,research other ways of reducing water requirements.

Such as installing your own tanks ,using the grey water from household a very effective way of watering the garden although not the veggie area.These gray water systems are very effective for garden beds and can be done quite cheaply even by yourself if bylaws allow.

Building a new home well you have the ideal opportunity to be very water wise ,as with whats available for inclusion to reduce water is amazing. Build a big underground tank ,place house over it ,driveways where you can place water catchment zones as in storage bladders ,where water will percolate from your driveway. Can have taps and fittings water friendly as in saving water usage.

For those of us whom are stuck with established gardens we need plenty of mulch, dripper watering systems .water deeply with i have eluded to before in previous posts .But is an ideal way of reducing plants dependence on water.And we can all do very easily and best garden practice .

If you have that nice lawn watering in the early hours of the morning is the way to go about 3am .plant out a nice large tree for the lawn area that will help with shading the lawn and any other plantings nearby .

This selection from Amazon books can steer u in the right direction and inspire you as well give you handy tips and hints .

I see many home with no trees and yet a tree will in effect make its own water just by transpiration alone but sadly we don't have those nice big trees in our suburbs much. i suspect councils don,t like them for fear of litigation ,or damage to drains etc but like everything selection is the key.

Well there you have some of my thoughts on water and hopefully give you some ideas to implement as its such a big issue and in time as society's grow will be more so .

If you do happen to have some ground plant a tree or two  and watch it grow year by year and leave its mark on this earth for the future.

P's let me know by way of comment of your problems in the garden and i certainly will answer .

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring what a great time

Hi there fellow gardeners like most of you i guess iv"e been busy in the garden . And with building websites my blog has suffered .But never mind its about enjoying what we do .

So to today's writing is about a joy that spring offers warm days ,plenty of sunshine and from what i see on google + a lot of photographers and people into their gardens are taking snaps of birds,who always seem to herald spring along with the jonquils and flowering bulbs.

I have never been to the States but it seems a lot of Flowering Prunus species are abundant from comments on G+ are anything to go by.We here in Thailand have a spring of sorts as all birds are busy rearing babies and the local chicken population has exploded even in my own yard .

The next door neighbours chook brought her seven chicks over, safer than her place she reckoned so i feed them make sure they got water,the neighbour did let me know though they were his. Got to love the Thais if it was the other way round i,d never see them again.

Well in the garden lets do some work ,trim up all those shrubs as the growth will really explode now ,flowering ones after they finished flowering. Lawns will need some attention a couple of handfuls of sulphate ammonia every six weeks will have them looking good.

Fertilise the shrubs as well ,roses give them some attention a good compost with some old manures will be beneficial there. And when watering remember to do it deep and every two or even better three that way can get plants prepared for summer.

Annuals need to be kept growing quickly for best results and when transplanting nip the tops out with your fingers promotes better growth and liquid teas are good for them. Using a fish emulsion or sea weed type of product best here for some spring specials . Amazon have some very good spring promotions on at the moment in all departments so have included the above link.

The all important veggie garden needs feeding as well .and plant out all your beets,broad beans love em ,cauliflower all your cabbages ,peas etc you might like to try some Chinese kale and some Asian vegetables as well , plant seed of tomatoes under cover ready for planting out when it gets a bit warmer .
Whatever it is you like as vegetables now is a good time to sow seed. If you have seen this blog before you will know i like growing food.

Those who have fruit trees fertilise them too and i know a lot of people grow citrus trees so give them a dose of magnesium for a good boost not a lot though a matchbox full around the drip line of the tree is sufficient. As citrus are heavy feeders better to give all fertiliser to them in small doses and regularly.

Whilst on fruit trees a little pruning can be beneficial especially if one was a bit hard on the tree in your winter prune as the tree would respond by putting on lots of new growth so a little tip pruning is very beneficial.

Try and condition your plants this spring regarding watering and by summer they will survive on that three day regime and save you some money from utilities bills or if they have in the States like have in Australia  water restrictions at least plants will cope.

We all need to save water where we can as it a very limited resource and getting more so each day and expensive . So start planning now and be ahead this summer.

Lastly for those of you whom like reading i have found a nice ebook on landscaping with some good designs and great tips on that subject and organic gardening ,and other subjects in it .From what i have read so far seems a good buy so Click Here! to grab yours.