Whether you have a comprehensive irrigation system in place or you’re still trying out some new ideas in your polytunnel, you’ll find that all water is precious. This is because your polytunnel is protecting your plants from the elements and therefore they can’t easily gain access to rainwater.
Therefore, when it comes to making sure your crops are well hydrated, every drop counts. Start thinking of ways to save waste water and repurpose it for your crops. Not only are you giving them regular access to water, but you’re being more eco-conscious too.
The methods for saving waste water don’t have to be too advanced – even some of the simplest methods can be effective.
How to save shower water for the garden
If one of the main ways that you’re thinking of saving waste water is by saving shower or bath water for the garden, then you’re considering recycling your greywater. Providing the water is clean – that is, it’s not filled with shampoo and soap that could harm your crops – then you can collect and reuse it.
Saving shower water isn’t common practice yet, but it’s slowly becoming a clever means of getting water to crops. If it complies with the Greywater Systems Code of Practice and it’s been treated enough, you should be able to introduce your own greywater system in your garden.
Storage tanks and treatment
You will need to carefully plan out how you collect and treat your greywater. The system will need to be sized up and pipework clearly labelled so that it doesn’t become confused with your washing and drinking water.
As you’re using the water outside the home, the level of treatment will be very basic to ensure that your crops aren’t impacted by any chemicals from shower gels and other bath products.
You’ll need to regularly clean your system and keep it clear of debris. You’ll also need to run regular checks and add disinfectants.
You can safely irrigate any food plant with greywater if the water doesn’t come into contact with the edible portion of the plant and you should also make sure you don’t use it for root crops. Find out more here.
More ways to save water
In addition to saving your shower water, there are more ways to save waste water for your crops.
One of the main ways to do this is to harvest rainwater by attaching a water butt or barrel to your downpipe. We offer polytunnel gutters too, which provide an easy solution for collecting rainwater from your polytunnel. You can then decide how you’d like to water your crops with it from there.
If you’d like to create an advanced means of getting this saved rainwater to your crops, you could link your rainwater harvesting system to your irrigation system. Whether you opt for a manual or automated means of irrigation, by creating a link between the rainwater you collect and the irrigation method you use, you can recycle nutrient-rich water that will benefit your plants and crops.
Why do we need to save water?
Conserving water and reusing waste water offer many benefits. Although most of our planet is made of water, most of it is salt water, making it unusable for watering and irrigating crops. Treating water is both essential but costly, ensuring we have enough drinking and bathing water to go around.
Using the waste water used to clean our dishes or rainwater, which has been through the water cycle, are therefore excellent ways to water your plants. Plus, in addition to ensuring your crops are getting the water they need, you are recycling water that would otherwise go to waste, which can help the environment.
To learn more about polytunnels and the clever ways you can introduce irrigation systems to your structure, find out how we can help you here.