Gardening with Less Water, by David Bainbridge (2015)

Gardening with Less WaterThis timely offering from Storey Publishing belongs on the shelf of every home gardener, even those of us on the “Wet Coast,” where annual summer droughts are deepening, and we all need to be water-wise. Climate change is one driver of the recent spike in grocery prices, a shift that is causing those who have the space to consider how we can turn flower gardens into bountiful crops from spring to fall so we can fill our freezers and shelves for winter. This helpful handbook will inspire with simple, inexpensive strategies to maximize garden output with minimal water consumption. Bainbridge is an authoritative champion of efficient water use, drawing on his research at California’s Dry Lands Research Institute. Part One presents practical and easy-to-implement Super-Efficient Irrigation Systems like buried clay pots and deep pipe watering. Each topic includes illustrations of how and when to choose these age-old solutions still in use around the world. Using these systems can reduce your water needs for the garden by 50 to 90 per cent, and as a bonus, they typically reduce weeds and improve yield. In Part Two, Taking It to the Next Level, Bainbridge again turns to traditional global methods to suggest how to make the most of whatever super-efficient irrigation system to meet your garden needs without drawing from drinking sources. After brief chapters on rainwater collection and landscape design, he brings it together with a short section on making super-efficient irrigation a part of your garden plan, whether it’s a patio or small farm. He concludes with a short section on how citizens can foment change by speaking with neighbours and colleagues, and by calling on politicians to support initiatives that reward water conservation. After last summer’s drought in Vancouver, I wanted to read more on how to implement grey water recycling, a gap that perhaps could be remedied in a second edition. Appendices include a metric conversion chart, and a short list of world-wide sources for the devices described in the book. There is space allotted for an index, but it was not included with my advance copy. My thanks to Storey Publishing for the advance e-copy provided through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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