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T_Titan
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Ideas for Drought

Hola,

We're dealing with this whole drought thing on the West Coast and my gf and I are really trying to be extra green and not waste any water. However, we grow our plants indoors (some hydroponic, some in misc. planters around the apartment) and I am worried about using too much water. I was told to try adding yucca to the mix but does anyone have any other ideas?

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Re: Ideas for Drought

First off, kudos to you for being concerned about the drought. Welcome to the forum! 8)

I think there are some things that are essential and others that are not. Keeping a vegetable garden alive counts as essential. It's something you're going to eat. You could buy it at the store but what you buy would have been watered too. So I think a vegetable garden can be counted as essential.

Watering a lawn is not essential.
A long shower is not essential.
Washing a car is not essential.
Turning on the sprinkler so the kids can jump around in it... not essential.

My wife was telling me the other day that she read a news report how California was encouraging citizens to conserve water but that consumption remained the same.

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applestar
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Re: Ideas for Drought

We had a similar topic : Subject: How do you grow vegetables with less water

I think the ideas that were posted for *saving* used water and liquids that would otherwise be thrown away could be used here for indoor container plants too.

We're having drought conditions as well. My front lawn is looking very very sad since we don't water the lawn. I have two rain barrels -- soon to be three. I put buckets and containers out everywhere when it rains -- even for an hour -- and collect them to water with later.

I imagine a hydroponics system could conserve a lot of water just by using enclosed system and limiting loss through evaporation since air pump could supply the aeration, though I am not familiar with the technique.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Ideas for Drought

And here in the midwest we are having flooding! I keep wishing there was some way we could have a pipeline and send some of our excess to California.

I agree with applestar, the biggest thing we can do is re-use water. We all use LOTS of it, between showers, dishes, laundry, and all of it gets used once and down the drain. Grey water systems are not that hard. If you could just work on a way to divert some of your kitchen sink drain water into a tank, you could take care of all your plant needs easily. The diverter could be on a valve so that when the tank is full, you can switch it back to the regular drain.

I also have rain barrels, but honestly unless you were in a position to invest in a big cistern, I don't think they would be too useful in your situation. I have two 75 gallon rain barrels. One year when we did have a drought year (still not as bad as yours), they just sat empty all summer when I needed them most.

For external landscaping, there are lots of drought tolerant plants that don't need very much water once established (look up xeriscaping). I never thought about them for indoor planting. What kinds of things are you growing in your hydro system?
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Rairdog
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Re: Ideas for Drought

My 100 gal AP system loses 5 gal a day through plant perspiration and gravel evaporation. I have not watered my garden in 2 years that I can remember except when transplanting. So, in my situation the closed system uses more water than the dirt garden due to excess rain. I waste most of my water on containers. I guess it just depends on where you live. We have been flooded all year this year. I guess you can say I recycle since I have a well and septic. Whatever I pull out of the ground goes right back in. If I lived in a drought area I would use a closed system like HP/AP along with wicking beds/pots. I try and conserve water by mulching my wicking pots but they turn into nat farms.

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T_Titan
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Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Ideas for Drought

Thanks for responding, everyone!

We are growing tomatoes, mint, sage, marjoram, basil, and lettuce hydroponically. We just started experimenting with squash and mmj and are hoping to see results in the fall. We mostly have houseplants/herbs in containers. I don't necessarily want to switch to terrariums/succulents unless as a last resort but it's getting to that point.

We have a rain bucket on the porch that we use to water plants. But it's been drizzling more than raining as of late.



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