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Watering the garden

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Water is a precious natural resource to be consumed in great moderation under all circumstances
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Michel Tremblay)

Water is a precious natural resource to be consumed in great moderation under all circumstances. In the summer, various outdoor activities we take part in can double our water consumption. A significant part of this increase is due to the watering of lawns and gardens. Keep in mind that the water used for watering is usually potable (treated). It is therefore crucial that we improve our watering techniques.

Minimizing water needs

You can reduce water needs by doing the following:

  • Gather the plants based on their water needs. There is therefore no need to water the entire garden to ensure that needy plants get enough water
  • Improve the soil’s ability to retain water by adding compost during planting
  • Use organic mulch to keep the soil cool and damp
  • Plant directly in the soil rather than in containers
  • Avoid planting near foundations and fences, as these areas receive little water.

Recovering rainwater

Recovering rainwater is an excellent way to reduce drinking water consumption and prevent storm sewers from overflowing. The water recovered can be used to water plants.

Here are some tips for recovering rainwater in a barrel:

  1. Get a cover for your water collector. 
  2. Cover the water entry with a screen to keep leaves and debris out. 
  3. Add a tap to the base of the barrel—this will allow the container to drain completely.
  4. Avoid dark colours, as they are conducive to warming up the water.
  5. Avoid clear-walled barrels, which encourage the formation of algae. 
  6. Set up an overboard drain with an extension so that excess water flows away from foundations.
  7. Set the water collector up on a base for better water pressure and more room to place the hose under the tap.

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