Dirt Shakin’ and Water Savin’

March 25, 2010 at 8:11 am 4 comments

The garden has boomed as of late! There are newcomers that are starting to peek out. Let’s see if you can guess these next three seedling photos…

As I told you guys in my last post, my parents and I have maintained our garden manually, with a watering can. I have been really worried about the hotter weather lately, because it has taken its toll in drying out our plants precious source of nutrients: the soil! I’ve been using my hand-held tiller to loosen the soil about every other day, even daily on some of our plants.

Packed..

Loose and tilled..

The looser the soil, the easier the roots of the plant can receive the water. Moist soil makes for better growing conditions.

Before I thought that drip-line irrigation was not really a possibility for our garden, but I guess I was wrong! We laid down some black hose, and on Tuesday I punched some holes  so that we can put some spiggets in this weekend. Drip line irrigation is actually a better method to water plants when you have a larger garden. Garden hoses release a lot of water, and it’s hard to visualize the amount that comes out since it is so rapid. According to Earth Easy, here are some reasons about why drip irrigation is more beneficial over a garden hose:

  1. Saves waterStudies show that drip irrigation systems use 30 – 50% less water than conventional watering methods, such as sprinklers.
  2. Improves growth Smaller amounts of water applied over a longer amount of time provide ideal growing conditions. Drip irrigation extends watering times for plants, and prevents soil erosion and nutrient runoff. Also, because the flow is continuous, water penetrates deeply into the soil to get well down into the root zone.
  3. Discourages weeds – Water is only delivered where it’s needed.
  4. Saves time – Setting and moving sprinklers is not required. A timer can be added to the system for automatic watering.
  5. Helps control fungal diseases, which grow quickly under moist conditions. Also, wet foliage can spread disease.
  6. Adaptable A drip irrigation system can be modified easily to adjust to the changing needs of a garden or lawn.

For our drip-line, we weaved the black hose around our garden..

I punched holes in the hose around 12″-18″ apart with this cool hole puncher made especially for putting down drip-line.

Water is so important to everything! Without water, how would spinach be able to grow this big?

When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to always tell me to shut the water off when I would have it blasting out of the faucet. She would tell me (in Spanish) “The water is going to run out! One day we will have no water!!” As an adolescent I would of course laugh at this and think yeah right! We have all been taught that our water supply is endless, haven’t we? Remember that clever water cycle you learned in third grade? Well it turns out that the diagram you looked at is true, but a lot of the water available has become polluted, overused, diverted, and some of it has a shiny price tag on it now sitting in a plastic bottle at your supermarket. I recently read an article titled “Where Has All The Water Gone?” by Maude Barlow, that covered these ideas among other things.

To emphasize how it is affecting where I live, in California, we have around 20 years worth of fresh water left. Arizona is already out, and has to import all of its water. One of the local farms here in San Diego, La Milpa Organica, has been fundraising to break away from city water and to dig a well. Several other local farms are needing to alter their farming methods to comply with the water restrictions. JR Organics for example, has needed a smaller tiller for the fields because of the cut back. There are serious ramifications that come along with restricting water supply. Just think about how it really trickles out..

  • Minimized water supply affects the soil
  • Soil affects plant growth
  • Fewer plants to harvest means less for the farmer to sell
  • Less for the farmer to sell means the farmer is at a deficit
  • Less for the farmer to sell means less food for you and I to both eat
  • On a macro scale: Less drinkable water = less for human consumption = sickness, illness, disease, even death in the most extreme cases.

There are a number of efforts fighting back to restore balance to our water supply. Here are some resources I urge you to check out on ways you can do your part to conserve and further educate yourself on this crisis we all face:

  • Watering Calculator – The City of San Diego has created a handy tool to calculate a personalized watering schedule for your household’s needs.
  • Harvest Rain Water – Yes! The rain that falls from the sky can be re-used in your garden! But there are specific guidelines to follow to ensure that it is sanitary. This website provides resources to help you in finding a suitable way for you to collect one of nature’s most precious gifts.
  • Conservation Tips – The City of San Diego has provided a list of ways you can conserve! We’ve all heard of most of these before, but it’s good to remind yourself. This page also tells you how many gallons you can save with each conservation effort. Cool!
  • Watch Blue Gold– Learn about the fight again water privatization. Our access to clean water should be in the clutch of a ‘corporate water cartel’. Watch the movie trailer here.
  • World Water Council – More information on what is at stake with our water shortage and misuse.
  • Go local! – Planting native plants from your area will help you in your water conservation efforts. Garden Guides provides a step by step guide on how to do so.

This past Monday was World Water Day. In my opinion we shouldn’t set aside just one day to be water conscious! We should try to do the best we can, always.

Time for me to go harvest some of our lettuce before the sun comes out! I’m thinking about using it in a green smoothie or a salad lunch. 🙂

Max wishes you all a good day!

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kelly  |  March 29, 2010 at 6:17 am

    I loved this post! And I feel the same about World Water Day. We helped to try to hype it up at Food and Water Watch, but in the end, it should be something we care about each and every day, each and every second. Maude Barlow is on our board at FWW, that is her personal crusade in life basically, protecting our water and educating other on how precious a resource it is. Blue gold, like that movie calls it.

    It’s so sad really how our industrialized world has made endangered every resource that should just be a given.

    Anyhow–I love your garden, I wish I could have one–well I can help with our community garden on campus so in a way I do!

    This post was so informative. Love! 🙂

    Reply
  • 2. Alexandra  |  March 30, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Thanks, girl! 🙂

    Reply
  • 3. caglar keskin  |  May 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    It is a useful information about drip irrigation. I am a farmer and we have very large fields, before drip
    irrigation system was found it was a nightmare to irrigate all those fields because where i live is a place
    that does not rain so much. Now we use drip irrigation, saving so many water and it is a lot easier to irrigate
    the field with that. I am trying to read everything about drip irrigation and i recommend every farmer to use that
    technique, so i am grateful for everyone who gives information about it. I also found a very good guide about drip
    irrigation and it may be useful too for those who want to learn more information about that;

    http://agricultureguide.org/

    Reply
    • 4. Alexandra  |  May 11, 2010 at 6:08 am

      That’s great! Thanks for the link. Where are you farming?

      Reply

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Hello! My name is Alexandra.


This blog is a chronicle of living a healthy lifestyle through food and fitness! I'm a student, a gardener, an environmentalist, an athlete, and I love to cook and eat food that is locally grown. I love our planet so much, and I think it's important to treat it right so it can treat us right in return!

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