Everyone is talking about how to save water this summer. Here are some helpful tips from Humboldt Growers Collective on how you can save water while doubling your yield, dramatically improving quality, and cutting your time and labor in half.
Have you ever thought about how proportion effects your plants? The way a plant allocates its energy is directly related to its proportions. As plants become taller than they are wide, they become less efficient. This is true at every phase of the growing cycle. Taller clones or seed starts have fewer branches and become woody, yellow, and diseased. Taller growing plants convert a larger ratio of biomass to vegetation rather than flowers. Taller budding plants produce flowers similar to hemp rather than the AAA product we all want. In every phase, plants that are taller than they are wide proportionately consume more water creating an inferior final product.
When you are choosing what kind of plant to grow, if you are located below 1500 ft elevation, choose clones; because they will do well in that climate zone and will use considerably less water than seed starts over their total term per pound produced. If you are located above 1500 ft elevation, you will have to grow seed starts. In that event, tie them down, trellis them, or weave them. Make sure that the profile of the plant stays wider than it is tall and you will see a marked decrease in water consumption, food consumption, and labor while seeing a marked increase in production and quality.
In any climate zone, “tie-downs” or “woven” or “trellised” plants will make your life much better. If you can grow in a greenhouse rather than outdoor, you can “light deprive” your plants. This will allow you to cut your growing season in half. Gallons to pounds, you will exceed your neighbors growing outdoor by at least two times while bringing your harvest to the table for sale months ahead of them. You can tell your neighbors,”I’m not consuming any water while the aquifer is low!”. You can also avoid pests and disease of all shapes and sizes. These problems won’t have as much time to develop.
By leafing your plants when they reach maximum size and then continuing to do so every 2 weeks afterwards, you can remove much of the unnecessary biomass you are supporting and focus all of your resources on viable product. The ratio of biomass removed correlates directly to the amount of resources saved! This also puts you in a position where at crops end you have already cleaned it. The need for costly “processing” lessens.
These solutions cost nothing, save you money in the long run and put a ton of money in your pocket when you need it!
If you want to go beyond “passive” strategies this season and have at least $6000.00 to work with, drill a well (vertical or horizontal), dig a pond, or install a rain catching tank. Stop diverting surface water! You can avoid persecution by the authorities and tell your neighbors.”I’m zero impact!”