by Texas Homesteader~
In the heat of summer, the rain taps typically turn completely off here in NE Texas. It’s typical for us to struggle keeping everything watered.
I suppose I complicate things by insisting that all outside watering be done only though Captured Rainwater. I’ve never liked the idea of treated, drinkable water being pumped from miles away just for me to pour on the ground.
So with a few exceptions such as during drought when the trees could die if I don’t offer assistance, plants are watered only with rainwater. But keeping plants watered during the hot, dry Texas summers requires some conservation. Come see my conservation tips.
Using Only Rainwater
Since I like to use only rainwater to water outside plants, I make sure to have plenty of it available. I have three 50-60 gallon water catchment containers attached to three different house gutters.
When they’re full I have a large 30-gallon bucket for overflow water. I keep them covered to ward off mosquitoes, but in the photo below I’ve removed the cover so you can see how much water they hold. I use those buckets first, dipping watering cans into them to fill and water plants.
I also have a deep cement cistern with a pump that I use to water my garden. That water is also captured from a downspout in our home’s gutters.
But it’s delivered to the cistern via underground pipe. When I need to water the garden I flip on the pump and water away!
But even though this cistern holds several hundred gallons of water, when the rain taps turn off it doesn’t take long watering the garden every other day to drain that cistern.
So I’m still very careful with my water use. Especially during the hot, dry months of summer.
Conserving Moisture In The Garden
The intense sun can dry up any moisture in the soil pretty quickly when the temps tickle with the 100 degree mark, which is common here.
So I’m sure to cover the ground around my plants. This both insulates them from that heat as well as conserves moisture.
So I’m careful to mulch my plants against that harsh environment. I typically use spent hay from around the hayring. Many other gardeners might use (cured) grass clippings from mowing their lawn. But the important thing is to cover that ground.
I also utilize living mulch. To be honest, this is my favorite. I simply plant vining plants in my garden to grow along the soil around other plants.
My favorite is cantaloupe, pumpkin, squash or watermelon. They grow along just doing what they do and making us food. But in doing so they’re also shading the ground around my tomatoes. Win/win, yes?
Eliminating The competition
Anyway, today I’m in the garden watering. I usually try to water in the cool of the morning – it’s gonna be a HOT one today!
As I’m giving the plants a drink I am reaching down and pulling up any wayward weeds or grass.
There’s no need in a weed taking up valuable nutrients and moisture from my garden! Those small plants are placed in a Repurposed Coffee Can to be delivered soon to my composter
Slow The Flow
Another way I’m able to conserve water is to find a delivery system that allows the water to drain out slooooowly. This gives the water a chance to soak in down to the roots instead of running off.
In the past I’ve used a Plastic Jar With A Drilled Lid. RancherMan simply drills the lid with tiny holes.
I’ll dip the jar in my rainwater’s overflow and screw the top back on. Then I’ll tip it upside down on top of the soil at the stem of my plant and let gravity do the rest.
Over the next several minutes I’ll see bubbles rising one by one. That means the water is dripping from those holes and watering my plant. I use this method most often for potted plants.
But today in my veggie garden I’ll use a similar method for my deep soak watering. Only this time I’m using an empty repurposed coffee can.
I’ve written before about the Many Uses Of A Repurposed Coffee Can. I’ve used them in the garden for Corralling Weeds or making EcoBricks for raised beds. Today I’ll be helping my garden plants stay properly watered.
Repurposed Coffee Can To Water Garden Plants
First I took the snap-off lid from an empty coffee can. Then I punched several small holes in it with a nail.
Now when it’s time to water my Luffa plant I take off the lid and fill the can with water from a water hose bringing water from my cistern. Then I snap the lid back on and carefully turn it upside down.
Once again, gravity will do its thing and the water will drip slowly from those small holes. The roots get a thorough deep soak watering, giving the plant a fighting chance against the brutality of a 100-degree Texas summer day!
Since the coffee we love to drink comes in these handy cans, I always have plenty ready and waiting to be used. And I think conserving natural rainwater for deep soak watering while helping my garden to thrive is a fine use indeed.
Coffee Canister Repurpose Ideas:
- Removing The Print
- Making A Cute Country Bread Box
- How To Make A Flour Canister
- Storing Bulk Items In The Pantry
- Replaceable Food Storage Dishes
- Using Repurposed Canisters In The Garden
- Repurposed Coffee Canister To Cute Inexpensive Planter
- Making A Low-Waste Chicken Feeder
- Coffee Canisters Into EcoBricks For The Garden
- Empty Coffee Can Repurposed For Grape Harvest
- Fun Ways To Repurpose Coffee Canisters
My Favorite Garden Hacks
- Easy Garden Planning Spreadsheet
- Getting A Jump: Planting An Indoor Greenhouse
- Repurposed Cardboard Seed-Starting Pots
- 3-Sister’s Garden – The Original Companion Planting
- Low-Cost Vegetable Gardening
- Planting A Large Galvanized Trough
- Using Cheap Biodegradable Weed Block
- Tricking Birds AWAY From Your Strawberry Plants
- Easy Compost For A Healthy Garden
- Propping Tender Seedlings
- Cheap (or FREE) Wood Mulch For The Garden
- Homestead Hack: Remember Where You Planted Seeds
- How Vegetable Gardening Can Change Your Life!
- Easy Deep-Soak Watering
- Planting Potatoes In Galvanized Trough
- Planting A Blueberry Bush In Galvanized Tub
- Stevia – Growing Your Own Sweetener!
- How I Use EcoBricks In The Garden
- Making An Inexpensive Temporary Cold Frame
- Compost Old Confidential Documents