I owned 10 acres in El Dorado with only a well that went almost dry every October until the first rain in November. As my son put it, “I found something more precious than gold” when his shower was cut off due to the well going dry.
Since then I have learned many things about conservation. If you conserve with a well, it will get you through to the next rainfall. I’ve experienced a couple droughts and made it. Since I refuse to give up my winter, spring and summer gardens, I can add a few tips for vegetable and flower gardens through these hard times.
When I turn my shower on, it does not instantly supply me with the exact heat I like, so I have to run the water through the lower faucet before getting the required temperature. So, I put a 5 gallon bucket under the faucet. Once it gets full, it’s heavy, but I do move it and put the other one under. Now I have 10 gallons of water.
There are lots of variations for this method. At my ranch I used a lot of gray water. Now my husband takes a shower. Same method, guess what, we now have 20 gallons of water. We all know by now the “yellow/mellow” thing. With this 20 gallons, we can do many things with this “more precious than gold” product. I can water plants, flush, etc.
My husband saves everything, including empty 1 gallon milk jugs. I use a siphon hose to transfer the water from the 5 gallon buckets to the water jugs. That 20 gallons will water half of my garden one day, the other half the next day. Believe it or not, there is water left over.
Our grapes are water lovers, so with the theory of the bowl around the base of the plant, 3 inhes above ground waters, 1 inch below … to fix that, we drove pipes (any pipe) to root level deep, put the water in the pipe, and water goes right to the roots — no evaporation.
There are lots of things one can do; use your talents. A little extra work will pay off.
JUDY ELLIS BANKERT