Water problem, grey water???

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Cheryl in SD, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

    Apr 22, 2005
    South Dakota
    We are new here, and I am hoping for answers.

    We are in the middle of a drought. The well is getting low and we will need to use our grey water to water the garden. I wanted to grow organic veg. and wonder what I need to do in the house to do this.

    What soaps are safe for the garden and us? Has anyone tried this before and had it work?

  2. Lilandra

    Lilandra talk little, listen much

    Oct 21, 2004
    my grandmother always tossed her dish water out on the garden and things grew wonderfully ( they didn't have indoor plumbing and she brought water in from outside to heat up and use)

    I'd look for soap that is phosphorus free, and safe for septic systems... ask at a farm coop about what to use...

    sounds like a good plan -- good luck with it...

  3. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 6, 2003
    I think I'd just avoid bleach in the water, and use soap that breaks down. You can use homemade soap by pulverizing it in the blender or food processor. Also, if you're washing something you wore in the garage (thinking about DH's clothes when he's been wrenching on bikes or cars), you may not want to use that water.

    As for phosphates, I think that they may actually be helpful for the garden. The reason they were removed from household detergents is that they caused serious algal blooms and other green plant overgrowth in rivers and other bodies of water. But phosphate is great for gardens! That's why you can buy it at the garden centers.

    Hope your drought ends soon!

  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    Real soap is safe for your garden, your skin and the environment. My grandmother used to always give the dish water to the pig. Of course she used homemade soap.

    When we went thru a drought in south Texas back in the early 80s, only grey water could be used to water lawns. I was using regular bought detergent then. I made a surge tank from a trash can and ran the water from that onto the front lawn. Kept it nice and green. I was renting and couldn't have a garden so the lawn got it all.
  5. Fourthistles

    Fourthistles Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2003
    I'm in northern Wyoming with the same problem: 7 years of drought. For the last 3 years I've used gray water that I hand carried in buckets or used from a sprinkling can. I kept a basin in one kitchen sink to catch all rinse water, hand washing, etc. Then I dumped it into a bucket on the back deck. I also closed the bathtub drain during showers and bailed out the water. I'm sure people would call me crazy if they knew but this lack of water for gardening is getting desperate out here. Good luck.
  6. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Buckfield, Maine
    Good for you! I don't call that crazy, I call that ecologically sound and environmentally friendly. Yeah, it's a lot of work, but I think it would be worth it.

    I grew up in Valdez Alaska, and in New Hampshire, so I was always used to mother nature watering our gardens for us for the most part. Then I got married and moved to Utah. What a shock! Everything had to be irrigated. You had to find ways to use graywater or you just did without. Now I'm in Ohio where some years we have too much water, other years not enough. Rarely do we have it just right. This year has been a waaaay too much year. *sigh*