Is This A Drought Yet?
If the rainfall for a given period of time is more than 20 percent of its average rainfall it is generally considered a drought for that area. This does not necessarily mean that there will be any water restrictions placed in the community or changes made to how water is allocated, however, it should be taken into account when trying to maintain a garden. Here in Columbus this year, our observed rainfall amount has been 3.86 inches for the months of May and June. The average amount of precipitation for those months is 8.55″. This amount definitely would qualify for that layman’s definition of a ‘drought,’ and we at RTCO thought it might be a good idea to explore some ways to protect some of your parched plants. Check out some solutions that we have thought of below.
Here at Rebuilding Together we are working on employing a gigantic 1500 gallon rain barrel that will be operated by a solar power pump in order to maintain our Demonstration Garden. You can see the barrel in the top left corner of the photograph above. Our hope is to one day have the entire roof of our Tool Library Warehouse funnel to this barrel so that on the odd chance that it actually does rain we are capable of capturing as much of it as possible. Smaller 55 gallon rain barrels are available for an affordable price, ask someone at the tool library for details on how you can construct one at your home today!
Also, on days where you do know that it is going to rain, you might connect your watering can or a bucket to the end of your downspout to save some water that would otherwise be lost. OR, if you have a dehumidifier running at home, rather than pouring the water down the sink, it might be helpful to put that water to good use to relieve your parched houseplants.
If there is no relief in sight from the forecast, you might need to water your garden using a sprinkler. IT is very important that you are making sure to employ your sprinklers at optimal times of the day, meaning the early morning or last thing at the end of the day. We want to make sure that if we are watering our garden that the water isn’t instantaneously evaporating in the hot sunlight.
What other techniques have you employed to keep your garden moist during these hot dry days of summer?