What are you going to do for drought gardening ? Early summer temperatures are well above normal and many parts of New Zealand are rapidly heading into drought conditions. I have noticed in previous dry years that gardeners often throw in the trowel and simply forget about their vegetable gardens.
However, these conditions are ideal for increasing your gardening by using GreenSmart self-watering planters as these pots were originally designed in Melbourne to cope with extremely dry conditions in the big dry years in the early 2000’s.
Here are some tips.
Many Councils have now got watering restrictions in place, but they do allow hand watering. Perfect for these smart planters. You can reduce your drought gardening water requirements by 95% in comparison with regular gardening or raised bed gardening.
My re-used potting mix always seems to end up with weed seeds so the trick is to remove any weeds as they emerge so they don’t take any of your precious water.
Mulch for drought gardening
Add a thick layer of mulch onto the top layer and the thicker the layer, the more moisture will be held in the soil around the plant roots. Even as thick as 3-4 inches of mulch is okay. Mulching also reduces weed growth. I am using cocoa bean husks – it is a waste product from my favourite chocolate bar – Whittakers Peanut Slab !! The husks smell fantastic when first applied too.
Other mulch ideas : compost, coffee grounds, finely shredded bark, dried lawn clippings.
Where to add the water?
Normally we advise gardeners to add water through the water gauge to encourage plant roots to go deeper, however, when drought gardening with GreenSmart planters it is worth occasionally hosing the soil from above to ensure that more moisture is able to be held in the soil. This will increase the total water availability and it reduces the temperature of the soil to prevent the plant roots getting baked.
No drought gardening with Myanmar Self watering Gardens
Next month I am travelling to Myanmar/Burma and while there I am going to have a look at these floating gardens shown in the you tube clip. It is a large scale type of self watering gardening. No drought gardening here!