It’s not a proper graywater system, but we’ve gotten used to showering with a bucket below us, both to catch the water before it gets warm enough to use and to catch whatever water splashes into the bucket. We still lose usable water down the drain, but we’re putting what we save to good use in the garden.
With only a small part of the yard on automatic watering, I’ve always done a lot of watering by hand. Now I’ve been doing it a lot more using reclaimed water.
Most of it’s been spot-watering. Not everything in the garden needs the same amount of water, so why not water only the things that need water? This is a tiny buckwheat seedling I’ve been encouraging to get established.
It’s a great way to get to know your plants better. At the same time you learn a lot about the soil they’re growing in, with some areas of the yard accepting a lot of water, while others just pool up and drain slowly.
Another water-conserving thing I’ve been doing is to let the facial fuzz go a few more days than I used to–Good thing facial hair is in these days. More fuzz = less water needed to take it off. (Don’t let the color of the hair get you off-subject. Remember that I’m talking about graywater, not gray hair…)
But back to graywater: One concern I have with using water from the shower is what happens when bath products get dumped in the garden. I’m working on finding out more, but in the meantime I’m only watering the ornamentals with the graywater. A local blog Linda turned me on to, Angel with Dirty Finger Nails, did an introduction to the subject. The post made some recommendations for laundry detergents and linked to a list of a few things to avoid.
Sure, watering by hand is more labor-intensive than turning on the sprinklers. But I think I’ve mentioned it before that I count myself among the gardeners who enjoy gardening, not just gardens. Watering by hand is one of those great pleasures that only gardeners like us will understand.