Home Gardening | Fresh Vegetables
A few months ago my wife and I decided to try growing vegetables in containers in our back yard. With the help of a friend, we were able to enclose the garden with a steel frame and carport shade cloth. The purpose of this is in case it hails or gets too cold and frostbite damages the plants.
We only had limited success with growing our own vegetables in the past since our soil is like hard clay and insects and birds took their toll on what we grew. We came across a few ideas on social media like Pinterest, Facebook and Youtube and decided to go with large pots filled with potting soil and compost. At that stage, we still hadn't erected the covering.
The idea was to start small and add more pots and plants as we went along. Unfortunately, our country has been hit by severe drought. The dams are running dry and we have been asked to reduce our water consumption. But we were already sitting with all these plants that were now begging to be watered.
I recently did a photographic shoot about water conservation and the subject of grey water was drummed into our heads. They said we should take our bath water and water our gardens with the soapy, dirty water. So I gave it a try. We now bath less often and run less water into the bath. That bath water is then used to flush the toilet and water the garden. My next brainwave was to collect all the water from the washing machine and use that for watering the plants as well.
No ill effects on the plants with that idea. We have picked fresh vegetables from our garden that were watered with soapy or soiled bath water as well as wastewater from our washing machine. I can now report that the plants were grown in the best potting soil mixed with compost and watered with waste water and taste far better than the half-dead vegetables that we normally buy in the supermarket. Another benefit from the soapy water is that there are virtually no insects attacking our vegetables and the plants look like they are thriving with this setup.
Ultimately we are doing our part to use as less water as possible. Even dirty dishwater now gets collected to water the other non-edible plants and they too look great. The roses especially love the water.
So we have learned something new in the process. The only drawback is that we can't increase our planting as planned because of the drought. It's no use planting a lot of veggies and can't water them in the future. We'll have to wait for the rains to come.
Freshly picked peas, mustard leaves, radishes and sliced spinach from our garden. They all tasted magnificent! Our tomatoes and other veggies are still growing, but we do pick fresh strawberries every week. No bad taste of soap to be detected.