Sunday, August 31, 2008

Watering the Garden

This year I’m trying to get through the summer without watering my garden. I’m trying to conserve water and save money.

Of course, the potted plants need to be watered. I watered some of the annuals when they drooped. New perennials need water until they are established. But, I’m talking about hours of soaker hose watering of the entire perennial garden.

I’m talking about what will live in my climate without extra water.

Fortunately, we’ve had a year with adequate rain, until now. After a few weeks of no rain, heat, and humidity the soil has turned concreteous. Mulch, free from Bethlehem’s Compost Center, is indispensable. I am amazed at what is surviving (make that looking pretty good) without any extra water.

Some of the perennials have slowed blooming but are still very alive. The purple cone flowers look a little tired.

Roses are struggling but blooming. The Japanese anemone, asters and mums have set buds.

The ground cover lemon thyme and creeping jenny do not seem to have a problem.

The mum ‘Clara Curtis’ doesn’t seem to mind being dry at all. In fact, ‘Clara Curtis’ continues to bloom and bloom.

As I said, this has been a year with adequate rain. And I woke up this morning to a little less than half an inch of rain in the rain gauge. I’m not saying I will never turn the soakers on but I’ve learned that I can do with a lot less watering than I thought. We’ll see how brave I am during a drought.

I’m thinking about a rain barrel. Raising vegetables is another story.

What’s your strategy for watering?


Matriarchy said...

Your pot with cannas and coleus looks fabulous!

I plan to make water barrels this fall and start right in next spring with free garden water. The water bills in Reading are crazy.

You can also store clean snow in barrels, to melt into garden water in spring, but I have not tried that.

Marie said...


Thanks for the compliment on my potted coleus & canna. Coleus has become my favorite annual and this one is particularly showy.

I've been looking around for an inexpensive rain barrel. The barrels for sale are expensive. I also worry about mosquito breeding. Please let me know if you come up with a good idea. (You always do :-) )