While Airdrie has seen rainfall in recent weeks, a total of 40 millimeters in June, slightly more than the June rainfall total of last year, the Farmer’s Almanac forecast for summer 2022 predicts ” sizzling temperatures and scattered showers.” . For those who enjoy frolicking in the sun, the news couldn’t be better, but for gardeners and farmers, the hot, dry summer means watering the garden will become a constant chore.
Rosa West, president of the Horticultural Society of Airdrie and longtime Airdronian, said water has always been an issue in Airdrie.
“We’re not as green as we look. We have a semi-arid climate, almost a desert. The only reason we can grow anything is because of irrigation. We don’t we don’t get enough annual rainfall to support much more than grass,” she said. “After last year’s dry summer, it’s more important than ever to save water when you can.”
The city recently stated that the average resident uses 250 liters of water per day, the equivalent of two bathtubs full of water per person. But what about those who take pleasure and pride in having a fruitful and verdant garden? What to do to have an oasis in the garden without having astronomical water bills? West recommends that rain barrels are a great way to use Mother Nature, though she noted that they can’t be relied upon.
“[Water barrels] are an excellent complement. Water, at the right time of day, don’t water during the heat of the day, not because it’s going to hurt your plants, but because it’s going to evaporate,” she said. “Watering early in the day or late in the day is your best time to save water.”
West said that in times of drought, prioritizing what needs to be watered first can also help.
“It’s your trees first. Don’t water anything else, your grass, your annuals, not even your vegetable garden, because we have groceries,” West said. “Your trees cannot come back.”
The city also recommends not watering on windy days and making sure your garden hose nozzle has an automatic shut-off to save water.
“Water only when you need it. An established lawn requires only 25mm (about 1 inch) of water per week,” the city’s website states.
And if you’re not sure how much you should be watering your precious lawn, you can always use the frisbee trick and place a frisbee upside down on the lawn, once it’s full turn off the sprinkler.
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