Sunday, July 17, 2016

Review: "Gardening With Less Water" by David A Bainbridge

While the rains have come back to Texas, the long term drought to the west, especially in California, continues with devastating effects. The issue of water is going to have to change as climate change continues to cause environmental problems. While one can plant landscapes that feature native plants in terms of grasses and some flowering plants, the issue with vegetables and fruits that need water to survive and thrive is a bit more complex. Those kinds of plants absolutely have to have water. The new book “Gardening With Less Water” by David A Bainbridge outlines some possibilities regarding the delivery of water to the plants.

“Low-Tech, Low-Cost Techniques” that will allow you to “Use Up To 90% Less Water In Your Garden” is prominently splashed across the cover of this small paper back. Also prominently displayed is a clay pot inserted into the ground between carrot and potato plants. Putting clay pots and other devices below the surface of the ground to deliver water is the primary theme of this book.

After an introduction that details the water crisis in text and pictures, the book broken into two parts. Part One covers “Super- Efficient Irrigation Systems” and begins on page 14 with a brief overview on the topic. “The key to minimizing eater use is to get water to the plant just as it is needed with little or no loss to evaporation and runoff.” (Page 17)

Part of that is the aforementioned technique of burying clay pots into the ground. The buried pots in the form of gourds or wide mouthed clay pots can be used either to hold water or to hold the plant in the ground. By burying the pot to the top or very near the top one can water the planet in the pot and contain most of the water to that immediate vicinity. The pot tends to stay wet longer when buried in soil and thus restrains moisture around the plant. Obviously, the clay pots should be porous, not glazed, and in their natural state without wax or paint, that would interfere with the technique. More tips for this technique can be found on pages 22 and 23.

Along with suggesting ways of using clay pots inside of  bigger clay pots for those of us apartment and condo owners where space is very limited, the author how to effectively garden with, porous hoses, porous capsules (such as bottles and flasks among others), deep pipe irrigation, wicks, and more. A number of different techniques are explained in detail by text and photographs so that you can use one or more ways of addressing your personal landscaping situation.

The various techniques and ideas lead into “Part Two: Taking It To The Next Level.” Starting on page 78 the author gives tips on how to water wisely as well as advice on how to use your landscape to contain water by way of plants, rain barrels, grid gardening, and more. Included in this section are tips on how to develop a water garden plan for your particular situation. Beyond your personal situation in terms of your landscaping, the author suggests ways to encourage change with your local governmental policy makers at all levels.

The book concludes with an appendix, an acknowledgments page, a 2 page list of suppliers and their contact info, and a 3 page index.

At 130 pages Gardening With Less Water by David A Bainbridge is a short, but extremely informative book. Through pictures and text the book details how one can take very small steps to conserve water as well as how to upscale info significant savings. Detailed and comprehensive Gardening With Less Water is a well done source that explains how you can do your part to save our precious resource. 

Gardening With Less Water
David A Bainbridge
Storey Publishing
Dec 2015
ISBN# 978-1-61212-582-4
Paperback (also available in eBook)
130 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2016

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