Look! Up in the sky! It’s a rain cloud. Quick – catch it before it runs away.
We humans don’t do a very good job of capturing and storing water. In fact, most of the water that falls on our homes drains quickly and efficiently away from them once again. If a drop of water falls on your roof, chances are that it goes into a pipe that feels into the storm sewer or the sewage system, heading to a lake, ocean, or otherwise away from your property.
Nature is much better at using water. Here are a few ways that you can design like nature, helping your garden grow even in the dry season:
1. Grow Some Shade
When water hits a hot surface, it evaporates quickly. How can you create cooler surfaces? Growing shade plants will help reduce the temperature in your garden, and it will help keep the moisture around, feeding those same plants. Plants also have roots, and roots help slow down water as it moves across the landscape, soaking it in.Growing plants helps keep the water around, and those same plants can use the water. If they’re food plants, so much the better.
2. Mulch, Mulch, and More Mulch
Mulch is the forest’s natural sponge. Leaves and other organic materials fall to the forest floor and create a thick, moist layer that shelters plant roots and conserves moisture, slowing down evaporation in the heat of the day. Add leaves or other mulch materials to your garden to mimic the process that the forest uses to cover up and stay damp. Mulch also helps during the cool season, when it provides an insulating layer over the garden to keep it just a little bit warmer.
3 more tips on page 2!