Challenge #1 ~ Smart Gardening

Read the blog post on the March Theme: WATER

You enjoy gardening and are desperate to green your backyard, as we all are. Green foliage and flowers in our surroundings soothe and calm the senses. And in fact, they increase property value. Here in the desert especially, it takes skills and will to work with nature, against all odds, to succeed. It can seem daunting. The climate is relentlessly hot and dry. So, you mean well with your plants.

But do you know that here in Qatar about 30-60% of a household’s water use occurs outdoors, and that most plants die from overwatering?

Yes! So, start loving your plants by cutting your outdoor water use. It’s so easy and also frees up your time to actually sit and enjoy your garden AND cut your environmental (carbon) footprint, because less desalinated water goes to waste. Follow these few simple steps starting TODAY:

  • Water plants every other day instead of twice every day. Water in the early morning or later in the afternoon when your plants are shaded to prevent scaling (burning) of the leaves and water-loss through evapotranspiration (leaves sweating the water out).
  • Let fallen leaves build up to a valuable leaf mulch to cover the soil, preventing soils from drying out and weeds from growing. Leaf mulch is a great soil cover, as are gravel or stones to further reduce water-loss through evaporation from the soil.
  • Try native and regionally adopted plants, especially groundcover, because they require little water and grow well in local conditions. Once established, they require minimum irrigation to strive happily:
  • If you are crazy like us, shower with your watering can/containers or buckets instead of filling it up at the tap. Excess water from the shower will fill the container instead of wasting it down the drain.
  • Instruct your helpers to take a broom and sweep the pavement instead of spraying precious desalinated water down the sewer. 
  • Finally, share the knowledge with everyone around you to make Qatar green and proud.

Sources:

  1. USEPA, Reduce Your Outdoor Water , accessed 24 February 2019
  2. County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Smart Gardening Information Sheet
  3. Qatar Tribune, Qatar’s water consumption among highest in the world, 13 Nov 2019