In an ecologically based garden design, water is not an externally caused event — it is designed into the plan, naturally present, naturally abundant. In the ecological garden, ample water, not drought, is the “default condition.”
Five Water-Conserving Methods and Their Benefits
Together these five techniques conserve moisture far more effectively and more certainly than any single technique, and the benefits extend far beyond water conservation.
Methods and Benefits
1. High organic matter content.
Holds moisture, adds fertility, stores nutrients, boosts soil life, and fluffs soil.
2. Deep mulching.
Slows evaporation, cools soil, adds fertility, boosts soil life, and smothers weeds.
3. Water-conserving plants.
Needs less water and survives drought.
4. Dense plantings.
Shades soil and smothers weeds.
5. Soil contouring.
Catches water, directs water where needed, helps plants and soil life survive both wet and dry periods, builds humus, and adds visual interest.
Adapted from Gaia's Garden, A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, by Toby Hemenway. Copyright (c) 2001 by Toby Hemenway.Reprinted by permission of Chelsea Green Publishing Company.
Adapted from Gaia's Garden, A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, by Toby Hemenway