This garden is coordinated by the Churchill Park Community Garden Collective a group of gardeners and community volunteers. We look forward to the upcoming season and hope that you will join our garden community. Please feel free to explore this website for more information.

If you have any questions or would like to join, please contact us at garden@opirg.ca.

May 16, 2012

Water Consevation

As of May 8, the Hamilton Conservation Authority has declared a Level 1 Low Water Condition for the HCA Watershed, which means flows are below 70% of their normal conditions. As such, they have also asked Hamiltonians to try to decrease their water consumption by 10%.
As gardeners we often have to use more than our fair share of water to keep our plants healthy and thriving but there are steps we can take to ensure that we use this valuable resource efficiently. In this week’s blog post I have accumulated several actions we, as gardeners, can do, to limit our use of water.

1.       Mulch, mulch, mulch

Mulching not only helps keep your plants healthy and free of weeds it also helps ensure that the water you do use is conserved in the soil instead of being evaporated or flowing into other soil patches. If you’re unsure how to mulch properly please see last week’s blog post for tips or talk to other gardeners or myself.

2.       Keep your garden healthy

Just as mulching has several benefits for your garden, keeping your garden healthy can actually help it conserve water as well. For example, weeding it regularly ensures that only the plants that need it are using the water. Also, using dark soils, like compost, can help lock in moisture for longer periods of time.

3.       Don’t water at peak times

Watering when it’s very sunny means that most of the water you use will actually be evaporated before it reaches your plants. Try to water early in the day or later at night (before 9am or after 5pm) to make sure the water you use is employed effectively.

4.       Water near the base of the plant

By watering near the base you ensure that water is not left on leaves (which have no use for water) or on soil that does not have roots in it. To help you do this you may consider using an old plastic water bottle with the bottom cut off as a funnel. By burying it a few inches from the top of the soil it can help direct water straight to your plants roots.

5.       Use rain barrels

While our garden collective does not have rain barrels at this time you may want to consider purchasing one for your community or home garden. If you want to help the Westdale community with your purchase you may want to consider buying one from Westdale Secondary School which is selling them until May 17, 2012 (more information on that at this link: http://rainbarrel.ca/westdale/)

Gardens can be great for the environment, so long as we practice good habits and conserve the resources we use. I hope these tips help you with your garden this summer and please comment if you have any more ideas or advice for fellow gardeners.

Happy gardening!

My name's Laura Crump and I'm a third year student in the Arts and Science program at McMaster University. I've been gardening my whole life but this is my first year at Churchill Park Community Garden. I'm really looking forward to working here this summer, 2012.

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