Campus News

Conserve water and save plants

With Level 4 water restrictions in effect throughout much of North Georgia, the drought is taking its toll on plants. The following list offers ways to conserve water and save plants:
• Use hydrogels. These water-absorbing polymers absorb several hundred times their weight in water and then release it slowly back to the plant. Let hydrogels absorb water until the material is the consistency of Jell-O. Then spread a thin layer under mulch or, for potted plants, punch holes into the growing media and then insert the gel into these holes.
• Use Driwater. These are hydrated starch granules sold in sausage-shaped tubes. Insert two to four of these sausages into plastic tubes placed in the ground next to the plant. Bacteria in the soil gradually break down the starch granules and release water for up to three months.
• Collect A/C condensate. Your air-
conditioner collects humidity in your home and pumps it outside as condensation. Find the drain line and collect the water for plants.
• Mulch plants. Three to 5 inches of mulch helps reduce soil moisture water loss. Fine-textured mulches such as pine straw, mini-nuggets or shredded hardwood mulch are good choices.
• Cut back. When a plant wilts to the point that survival is doubtful, cut the top back by one-third to one-half to reduce the leaves’ demand for water.