December 2020

Money Down the Drain...

 

Water is an expensive commodity. We realise that every time we get a water bill.

And while we wonder why we’re charged so much for something that falls from the sky, free of charge – we still let it go down the drain.

But we’re gardeners; we need water, lots of it. So how do we cut out the middlemen?

Well according to the Royal Horticultural Society – and they’d know: ‘Rainwater is always the first choice; it is free from hard water elements and is the correct pH for the majority of plants, including acid-lovers such as rhododendrons and camellias.’

So we need to catch the rain. 

 

       
Water butts can be expensive, but you’ll get your money back soon enough with what you save on the meter, and of course your garden will benefit from the rainwater.

At Palmstead we rely heavily on water. On an average year (remember those?) we use around 67 million litres; so it’s in our interests to use it sparingly and harvest as much as we can.

We currently have two reservoirs which can hold 55 million litres (that’s 22 Olympic sized swimming pools, campers…) and a third under construction.

We have mostly computer-controlled irrigation systems running to drippers, sprays, rotators, overhead sprinklers, flood tables and even humans using hose pipes. (They’re not computer controlled.) 

 

But as anyone who has placed a bucket under a hanging basket will know, some of what we use to water our plants soaks straight through or runs off the leaves.

And we don’t let the rainwater drain away; all our glasshouses, tunnels and buildings have rainwater harvesting systems.

So we capture rain and run off; and using subterranean water harvesting systems snaking across the nursery, the water is then filtered and returned to our lagoons and reservoirs.

So will you fix that dripping tap now?