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Water Saving Newsletter


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Dirt Doctor Newsletter

Saving Water

The single most effective way to save water is to go organic. No, not hyperbole - fact. Check the projects listed below providing the data on water use. Here are the main points of the program:

1.  Plant adapted plants - natives are best.
2.  Mulch all bare soil with shredded native tree trimmings.
3.  Water at night. No - that doesn’t encourage disease - it rains at night. 
Be careful of drip irrigation. Water has a habit of seeking the path of least resistance.
     The result can be wet and dry spots. Above ground sprinkling is usually best.
5.  Use compost, volcanic rock sands, organic fertilizer, and
molasses.  Avoid synthetic
     fertilizers and toxic chemical pesticides.




  Elbon rye with and without 
               organic inputs.                


 Photos compliments of Dr. Mike Amaranthus.
 Potato in weak soil - potato in
 biologically active soil.


Here's how it works: Soil with 5% organic matter can hold almost 200 pounds of water in every 100 pounds of dry soil. A similar soil with only 1% organic matter can hold only 30 pounds of water in the same soil.


Therefore, for every 1% increase in organic matter, the same 100 lbs. of soil is able to absorb and hold 30 - 40 more lbs. of water. Check me on the numbers, math is not my strong suit.

In addition, the roots of plants in healthy organic soil are dramatically larger and more efficient.

Is it any wonder that golf courses, commercial and residential landscapes and public gardens can save money on water in an organic program?  See the following success stories. Organic Golf Courses: Texas Tech  and Tierra Verde.  Public Garden: Bayou Bend.  Recent News Story: The Grass is Greener at Harvard.


If you have any questions regarding this newsletter or any other topic, join me for my radio show heard in Dallas/Fort Worth on Saturday at 11am and across the country on Sunday from 8 - 11am (CST). Radio 

See more information at 

Naturally yours,
Howard Garrett
The Dirt Doctor


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