Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Water Water Nowhere

Friends, I have a problem.

I am blessed that it doesn't affect my life so much that I'll starve, but it's a problem nonetheless.

Friends, meet Drought.  Drought, meet my friends.

My plants are wilted. Some have died. Others call me in the middle of the day, "Girl, I am thirsty.  You see these pathetic leaves?  How can you watch me wither away to nothing? Also, when are we going out for pedicures?"

Pumpkins need lots of water. This one is no exception.

I'm not sure how they got my cell number, but their pleas tug at my heart strings.

You see, I like to think I'm an environmentalist, although my commitment isn't 100%. I love my air conditioning. In fact, without it, I turn into a walking heat rash and even the Derm told me to keep things cool (perhaps I should move to the arctic, which sounds nice with these outrageously hot temps).

But we try around here to eliminate waste, compost, recycle, not buy in the first place.  Our real estate agent came by the other day to see what we'd done to the house, and she asked if we had taken care of the old compost pile in the back...I told her we had made it bigger and better.  Apparently, that is not what one does to improve a home's value.

The shaded marigold on the left is much happier than the ones on the right, which get full sun all day.

Anyway, I'm getting off point.  Ryan and I don't want to be mindless consumers of resources, and yet with a drought and a garden hose so easily accessible, I can just turn the water on to stop the pumpkin vine from whining so much.  However, I'm reminded of someone I knew years ago who told me to just go to the ATM for money, without realizing that it's not really a magical machine that prints dollars on demand.  It's gotta come from somewhere, just like that water.

The sunflowers are happy, though.
Here in eastern Kansas, we don't have the water crisis of the western plains partly because we have two rivers running through.  But to think of this life elixir as unlimited is unfathomable, and it's expensive, too, so we're cutting way back on the garden watering, even if it means everything dies.

I know, not pretty. But it does the job.

But wait, there is an interesting solution!  Did you know that when you run your AC you get all this condensation?  We have a tube that runs to the drain in the basement floor, so now we're collecting the water rather than putting it into the storm drains. We get at least 12 gallons/day, and my own personal Hulk (Ryan) can carry large containers of freezing cold water from the basement into the garden.

Another idea?  Get used to brown grass. Our lovely lush grass, which stayed green all winter, has gone dormant and isn't too pretty right now.  It's funny, people whose yards are green right now are really just enjoying hardy weeds, but ours, the lawn that outshone everyone else's in the spring, looks like someone's dog puked all over it.  

Other ways to save water: put a bucket under the faucet while you're waiting for the water to get hot.  Use mulch to hold the existing moisture in the soil (see the sun drenched marigolds photo above). Set up a rain barrel (obviously not for drought conditions--and also, it's illegal in some areas, so check first).  Don't flush so often. Of course, that doesn't necessarily give you water for the garden, but it does keep your consumption down.

Any other ways to save water you can think of?


  1. There are water use restrictions in some areas nearby, thankfully not in our township yet. But either way, we don't water our lawn, and I get bored of watering plants about 2 weeks after they're in the ground.

    Also, 12 gallons A DAY!? from your air conditioning? It must be flippin' humid there...

  2. capture bathwater and shower water for the garden. use natural soaps so they won't hurt the plants or environment (plus it is better for the water purifying systems that the soap go down through the dirt - or the proper drain - than the storm drain, so watering the garden with it is good!)!!!

  3. Great water conservation tips! Wish I could send you some from Florida, we've been having rain every day and everything is overflowing. I've been in drought situations plenty of times though do I applaud your decision to just water less and let the plants and grass die :)


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