Water shortage in the garden?

Wise words from Garden Organic

Even if you don’t remember the drought of 1976, you are probably aware of the current water shortages across England.  With the forecast due for a dry July, here below are some tips for the organic gardener.

And in years to come, its worth making your growing area more water efficient. Organic growers are the best on earth for using water wisely and effectively. See here for ways to save and use water.  Its a precious and finite resource – far too valuable to waste.

1. Decide which plants are most important to you and water just them.  Is it your carefully tended veg crops?  Your hanging baskets?  The new trees you planted last winter?  Do not waste water on the lawn (grass always comes back after a drought) or on mature trees and shrubs.
2. Water carefully.  The best technique is to water the soil, allowing moisture to penetrate deeply. You can be generous with your water this way, knowing that after a really good soil soaking, you don’t need to water mature plants again for a few days.  Seeds and young plants benefit from a drip irrigation system, which uses minimal but constant water to keep the soil moist.
3. Water in the cool of the evening or very early morning, not in the fierce heat of the sun. 
4. When you have watered, put a mulch down on the wet soil to conserve the moisture.  This covering can be anything from cardboard to grass cuttings, compost or leaf mould.  Use gravel on top of pots to keep the moisture in.
5. Save every drop of rinsing water into a separate washing up bowl – from washing veg and salads, even from washing your hands.  
6.  Use ‘grey water’ from baths and washing up. Make sure you don’t use too much soap/shampoo (the residues can build up in the soil) and use straight away.  Stored grey water can harbour legionnaires disease.  Water with washing powder or washing up liquid in it can be used, but infrequently – this is because the modern detergents have enzymes and phosphates in them which, if used in concentration, an actually harm the plants.  The water is also often surprisingly greasy by the end of a washing up session. Use ecologically friendly detergents, and avoid using grey water continually on the same patch of ground or pot.
7. When rain comes, be prepared. Make sure you have a water butt connected and ready, have buckets or containers lined up to collect every drop.  And if the shower hasn’t been prolonged or heavy, water your plants straight after to make sure moisture goes down deep to their roots. Don’t forget to mulch!

Categories: Garden Organic, Growing vegetables, Water | Leave a comment

Reduce your impact on earth

Avoiding meat and dairy

While meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Categories: Animals, food | Leave a comment

Banking can change the world

From the Triodos Bank AGM:-

Categories: Banking | Leave a comment

The 3 step plastic challenge

from GreenFriends North America

Our Beloved Amma has requested that her children take up the challenge of Source Reduction – preventing waste and pollution before it actually happens – to live a more sustainable life on our precious Mother Earth.

To honour Amma’s request, we are launching a Plastic Challenge that asks all devotees to take steps towards reducing their plastic footprint (plastic usage). The results of this challenge will be offered to Amma this summer during Her US Tour 2018.

To take the Plastic Challenge click here.

See this BBC page for details of the plastic problem, including a video on how to deal with it

Also: Is it easier or harder to live without plastic than 10 years ago?.

Categories: Climate, Renewables | Leave a comment

Planting trees in Heartwood

Join the Woodland Trust’s planting events:-

February 22nd

March 2nd, 8th, 14th and 20th

Time:  10.00 until 15.00 but no problem if you can only make part of the day.

Planting site:  Within the deer-fenced area to the north of the Nomansland Farm (see attached map) and some hedgerow planting. Read more »

Categories: Planting trees | Leave a comment

Compostable coffee cups

It is now possible to use coffee cups which go into the compost bin!

The problem? Conventional takeaway packaging uses a mix of materials (plastic, card, films, metals). For example, conventional coffee cups are made of card lined with plastic. Separately, plastic and card are easy to recycle. But combined, the card contaminates the plastics recycling and the plastic contaminates the card recycling. Then in use, add in the food inevitable residues, and the result is a huge recycling problem.

The solution? Compostable packaging. If the whole package, including all the materials, can be recycled with food waste, there is no issue. No contamination, no sorting. Vegware’s compostable cups are made from plants, not plastic, and can be recycled along with their compostable lids with food waste.

#wastenot

Categories: Composting, Recycling | Leave a comment

Find land for veggie growing

Huws Organic Gardening’s suggestion for finding land to grow veggies:-

Categories: Gardening, Growing vegetables | Leave a comment

All aboard the solar train?

10:10 Climate Action have published a report on how solar PV can be connected to trains running DC traction using a third rail, as in London, Merseyrail and elsewhere.

Grid capacity constraints mean new renewable generating capacity can no longer connect affordably across whole regions of the UK.

Withdrawal of subsidies for solar PV means only developments with an on-site final customer are now commercially viable.

Traction power demand from railways is increasing, and railway operators could be supplied with track-connected solar that is both lower cost and much lower carbon than grid-supplied electricity.

Categories: Conserving water and energy, Renewables, Travel | Leave a comment

Seven charts that explain the plastic pollution problem

This BBC article describes the problem of plastic pollution:-

Categories: Health | Leave a comment

Twenty years of climate change in two minutes

NASA has published a film of Earth’s seasons showing how the climate has changed in the past twenty years.  As they say, we only have one planet, and it’s a delicate place.

The data visualization, released this week, shows Earth’s fluctuations as seen from space.

The polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons. The varying ocean shades of blue, green, red and purple depict the abundance – or lack – of undersea life.

“It’s like watching the Earth breathe. It’s really remarkable,” said Nasa oceanographer Jeremy Werdell, who took part in the project.

Categories: Climate | Leave a comment