Green Fingers: Water conservation: Waste not, want not

James Vaughan


James Vaughan

Green Fingers: Water conservation: Waste not, want not

Remember to keep the lid very securely sealed on your waterbutt

Irish water have stated that we in Ireland use 133 litres of water per person every day. This is an average figure and does not include additional water which we might use in our gardens during heat waves.

Irish water have also announced recently that they will commence charging high- level users for the excess water that they use in the near future. Irish Water will begin writing to some customers in the autumn of 2019. This will give notice that you may be using an excessive amount of water and provide information on how to conserve water and deal with leaks. Irish Water have stated that the charges for this excess usage could be over one euro per litre!

There is nothing to say that in hot weather we should simple let our window boxes and hanging baskets perish. However, there are ways in which we can better manage our water consumption in the garden. A product that you can use in your hanging baskets are water absorbing crystals. These have the ability to store excess water and release it slowly. The graduals are available from garden centres.

Water Butts

Water Butts are one of the easiest ways to conserve water. Usually butts are placed around downpipes. These are then used to gather rainwater as it drains from our roofs. Shop bought water butts hold a couple of hundred litres. This is usually enough water to get from one wet spell to another For farmers or people with large work sheds there is the opportunity to gather larger amounts of water. I know of people who have installed underground tanks that can hold thousands of litres of water. Although this is sometimes done for commercial or strategic reasons, there are environmental benefits.

Choice of Plants

By choosing plants from warmer parts of the world you can decrease your plants requirement for water. Generally plants with shiny, spiny, hairy or silvery leaves on plants help them to survive with less water. Some of these plants come from warmer climates such as Mediterranean coasts.

Plants such as scenecio and stachys have silvery and hair covered leaves. Stachys is often called ‘lambs ears’ because the leaves are smothered in soft hair-like fluff. These plants have the ability to either reflect back sunlight or to hold onto the water they already have.

This is what enables them to survive in hot climates with little water.

Plants planted close together will create their own micro-climate. This will mean that they require less watering and, perhaps less attention.

Cappamore Show

I would like to wish the best of luck to the organising committee of this year’s Cappamore show on August 17. Cappamore Agricultural Show is one of Ireland’s leading One Day Shows and is very highly regarded among exhibitors and regular Show supporters throughout the Munster region as well as nationally. The Show was founded in 1954 and has run every year continually since then. Cappamore Show will be held this year at the Showgrounds in Ballyvoreen, Cappamore . I am sure it will be a resounding success.

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