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Drought survival

ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,589
Like 60+ other departments in France we have restrictions on water use and are not allowed to water our gardens or crops, just cook and wash.   Our 5 water butts are now all empty and whilst OH has set up a pump to fill watering cans from the pond it would take hours and the frogs and toads and birds and any visiting mammals need that water.

I still have over 100 pots of plants waiting for new homes in the ground which can't be dug as it's bone dry from drought and I couldn't water them in anyway.   I also have about 50 ornamental pots of plants on terraces, steps etc.

Most are on the north side of the buildings so they don't get fried all day but  at this time of year they still get direct sun for a few hours at either end of the day.  I was wondering about moving everything into an open ended barn so they are out of wind and any direct sun so less stressed as well as out of sight so I can water occasionally.   

Does this sound like a solution to save my treasures or will lack of direct sun do them too if it goes on too long?
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,037
    I would think its a plan if the barn get lots of light. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,475
    Is there anything you can do to increase the reflected light into the barn?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,589
    Thanks you two.  Good idea about reflecting any light back as the open side is on the north aspect.   I have a silvered panel of insulation that I could put behind the plants.   
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,214
    It's better than nothing but hard work. Last year I took an old tarpaulin and threaded rope through it, drawing it up to make sides. I put gravel in the bottom and water and stood my most precious plants in it. I didn't have anything like as many as you do but it saved lots, some I could use for cuttings to replenish my stock. It didn't need anything like as much water as would be needed ordinarily and you can use grey water.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,589
    We don't have grey water unfortunately.  Showers and dishwasher and a washing machine. 

    No more sowing for me this year then.   Anyone know a good rain dance? 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,214
    We collected water from the bath and shower with a little attachment to the downpipe. It has to go into a butt to cool down. I hope the rain dance does the trick.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,589
    Our shower is ground floor so goes straight underground to the setic tank system.  I could try and find the upstairs shower pipe tho.

    When we arrived here in October 16 the place was dry after the summer tho it had been cool and damp up until mid July.   We then had 15 months of drought but no water restrictions like this and January was wet and the local reservoir is full so I'm not sure what's going on.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,052
    edited July 2019
    Could you have baths upstairs and siphon water out on to the garden via a hose? Works for me. I guess it depends on having a bathtub upstairs and a window in the right place. It wouldn't be much for all your plants, but it might help a little. It would save on having to pump water.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,453
    edited July 2019
    I know it's a bit mental, but you could block the shower drain and use a little bilge pump in the shower tray (the type with an internal float switch they use on narrowboats) to transfer the water into a bucket. I guess you would have to limit your use of shower gel etc.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,589
    I really don't like a bath so this one only gets used for showering the dog when she's rolled in something unspeakable.   Haven't had a bath since we moved here 33 months ago.  Our new shower is Italian with a floor slab so no access to the U bend.   If I can find the downpipe for the upstairs shower, I'll start showering up there and also tell Possum who uses it to go easy on the products while she's here for the summer.

    As for the ran dance, leaving washing out to dry and/or cushions on outside chairs seems to do the trick for most but not here.   How on earth is neighbour Luc going to feed and water his 500 head of cattle?  Our grass is all brown.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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