Page 1 of 2

Hot weather and water

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:06 am
by Flo
Some of the UK water companies are beginning to be concerned about water use as the present weather is hot and has been dry in parts of the country suffering from a severe lack of rainfall.

Obviously we are not self sufficient in rainfall at present. Not making it easy for farmers, growers, allotment holders. Useful tips?

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:41 pm
by Odsox
Flo wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:06 am
Obviously we are not self sufficient in rainfall at present
Well I sort of am.
I have a couple of 1,000 litre tanks that are filled with rain falling on my barn roof for polytunnel irrigation, although I only have one tankful at the moment.
The house supply is from a spring that is on it's last legs now, probably it will dry up in a few days, although rain is forecast for Sunday.
The backup supply is our 120' deep borehole well, which has never run dry, but then south western Ireland can't help but be self sufficient in rain water. :lol:

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:11 pm
by diggernotdreamer
I always grow everything through mulches, it seems to keep what water there is in the soil. Even in NW Ireland, there are now starting to restrict water use. We have a very good spring well so no problems there. I am hoping to set up my large selection of water butts so I can have an emergency supply, just in case

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:16 pm
by Thomzo
I need more butts! Mine are almost empty now. Even the cruddy one at the back of the shed that’s always the last to be used as I have to fight my way through the honeysuckle to get to it.

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:27 am
by KathyLauren
I used to live in an area that had routine summertime droughts. It was not uncommon to go from May to October with only a millimetre or two of rain. We installed three large tanks to collect rainwater in the spring, with a total of 20,000 litres of storage capacity, and filled them with water collected off the roof. A couple of days of heavy rain could fill them. Using just the water in the tanks (because our well was marginal), we were able to keep the garden going all summer.

We irrigated the garden with drip lines, fed by a solar-powered pump from the storage tanks. The drip lines ran under a straw mulch, which retained moisture and controlled weeds.

The climate there was mild, similar to the British Isles, so I would collect most of our water at the height of the rainy season in November. I'd only fill the tanks 80% full, to leave expansion room for winter freezing. Of course, I drained all the lines before freeze-up. Then in spring, I'd top up the remaining 20% of the tanks. During the summer, the valves were left in the collection position, so that any rain would top up the tanks.

Winter collection like that would not be possible in places with severe winters. It's one thing to freeze a layer of water at the top of the tank. Freezing the entire tank would not be good.

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:48 am
by happyhippy
I use eco friendly dishwashing liq,and I always wash up in a bowl,and re use the water for plants outside.I also have a shower over the bath,use the plug then use a plastic jug,to collect water,pour into a bucket and then re use outside.I grow my own veg,so have covered the soil with straw as a mulch.I only water with a watering can,no rose attached.and only water the main stem part.I have two water butts (One is now empty)and have used this as sparingly as possible.I am not watering any lawn.Any veg that is either steamed or boiled,I cool it and use that too.

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:11 am
by Green Aura
I used a cheap variation on South American ollas in the polytunnel. The proper ones are unglazed onion-shaped pots that are buried up to the neck in between plants. They hold quite a lot of water and only have a small aperture so the water doesn't evaporate and only needs filling occasionally.

We used small terracotta plant pots (having sealed the bottom hole with silicone) and bury them accordingly. A terracotta plant pot saucer covers it and stops evaporation. They seep water slowly at root level encouraging downward root growth and we were stunned by how little we needed to water our tomatoes.

We put one of our ~500ml "ollas" in each crate (those plastic stacking ones usually sold for storing toys etc), which hold roughly a growbag, with one tomato plant, a tagetes and maybe a lettuce or basil plant and they only needed refilling every couple of days. There was no sign the plants were short of water and you know tomatoes let you know if they're thirsty! We also used a similar system for growing butternut squash. We didn't have brilliant reults with growing those but that was down to our short season rather than shortage of water.

Compared to the 10l watering can they got in each crate prior to using them it's an amazing saving. Plus, unless you drop one they'll last for ever. The biggest problem we had was getting used to the top of the compost being bone dry. I took a while to get rid of the urge to run to the tap.

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:40 pm
by happyhippy
Ollas sound interesting!Where do you buy them from?I've never heard of them.

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:02 pm
by Green Aura
Read it again, hh :wink:

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:51 am
by happyhippy
lol Yes I know you use terracotta pots GA,just interested in Olla's!

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:57 am
by Green Aura
Don't know, hh. I found them online, a few years back, but they were far too expensive for my budget!

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:28 am
by happyhippy
Just had a quick look on Ebay,and they're quite expensive!Don't think I'll be trying them either GA!lol(I'l reuse any plastic bottles,small hole in lid,fill up with water,insert upside down next to plant! ;)
Edit:Found these on Amazon,not a bad price and made in the UK.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Weston-Mill-Po ... water+olla

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:55 am
by Green Aura
Lovely, but compared to 2.99 for a plant pot and .99p for the saucer, it's quite a difference. When we were growing 12-15 tomato plants, each with its own little pot that's big money. :lol:

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:34 am
by happyhippy
Lol,yeah I understand GA.

Re: Hot weather and water

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:01 pm
by ina
Bathwater...