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The art of watering the vegetable garden (especially in times of drought) – Italian Cuisine

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Savings, mulching, rainwater, intelligent irrigation: these are just some of the key terms for saving water in our garden, especially in times of drought. Watering is in fact an art, just as it is an art to know the vegetables that need a greater water supply, the most efficient irrigation systems and many other small, big tricks to water our beloved garden. Here is what they are.

They range from the most practical tips, such as keeping the watering can always close to the ground or giving water to our garden only at certain times, to more specific advice regarding existing irrigation systems. In all cases always remember that the first threat to the green thumb, whether it is a vegetable garden or simply a plant, it is to give too much water (even more than giving too little).

177640At this point the first rule, which may seem trivial, is to avoid planting vegetables that are too thirsty. Yes therefore a sage, rosemary, peas, some varieties of tomatoes and in general small plants, such as lettuce or basil. While in arid places it is definitely not recommended to grow watermelons, melons, pumpkins or cucumbers, notoriously hungry for water. Also there soil quality it is important: a well-worked soil allows the roots of vegetables to grow stronger and more branched, able to absorb every drop of water. It is important to work and ventilate the soil well before sowing, so that it is soft. We can continue to move it with our hands from time to time (paying more attention!) Even after the plants are born.

177631The second rule concerns how and when to water: it is recommended to do it only when you really need it (checking the ground) and it should always be done in the morning and / or at sunset. Meanwhile it is important to direct the water well, avoiding to distribute it unnecessarily. And then it is recommended to opt for a thrifty system, such as drip systems, which require water to arrive directly on the ground.

177643Indicated is also underground irrigation, which provides that the water flows in pipes arranged between the vegetables and penetrates into the soil thanks to small holes. Absolutely non-saving irrigation systems should be avoided. Also when using the watering can it is also good to keep it as close to the ground as possible, to disperse less water. Always remember how precious rainwater is and try to collect it and convey it.

177637One of the secrets to combat drought is in the so-called mulching, word not known to all and litmus paper to identify the true garden experts. That is the spreading of mulch (layer of material of various nature generally consisting of dried leaves, pine bark and various foliage) on the ground to protect crops from excessive insolation. Mulching is in fact an operation carried out in agriculture and gardening which consists of covering the ground with a layer of material, however keep the humidity in the soil, protecting the soil from erosion and the action of heavy rain, maintaining the structure and raising the soil temperature. It is an excellent system to retain soil moisture and can be made using different materials. Better to opt for the organic materials (gravel, bark, sawdust, pine needles), but you can also use plastic sheeting or cardboard.

Know the right soil and plants. Fundamental is then to know which plants grow in a given area and which have obvious difficulties in resisting, respecting the environmental context in which the plants grow and avoiding waste of resources and energy stubbornly making some plants grow at all costs wrong habitat. There is also a small consideration on the level of sun exposure of the green area: in this regard it is good to ask an expert for advice on the types of plants that are easier to grow than the need for light, the time of year and the temperature of the area where you live.

Emanuela Di Pasqua,
July 2017
updated August 2019

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How many times can a plastic bottle be reused? – Italian Cuisine

How many times can a plastic bottle be reused?


Health and environment: how many times is it advisable to reuse a plastic bottle?

A plastic water bottle is comfortable and light. We can take it with us and fill it several times, when we are around for a walk, but also in the daily workday. The question, however, arises: how many times can a plastic bottle be reused?

Are plastic bottles safe?

Plastic bottles are produced with raw materials for food use, so from this point of view there is no fear. Once this is established, however, a false myth is born: many believe that the number that is at the bottom of the bottles or plastic cups represent the number of reusables allowed. In reality that number represents the type of material of which the container is made and it is necessary for the collection centers to properly dispose of the waste.

What we see on the plastic water bottles is the number 1, which identifies the PET (polyethylene terephthalate), the lightest and most flexible type of plastic, which is used for most disposable containers. Although this plastic does not release substances that are harmful to health, the products packaged with it are nevertheless identified as single use. Consequently, by reusing them over the long term, they may lose their characteristics and be targeted by germs and bacteria more easily.

… and the environment?

After having taken into consideration the aspects concerning the safety of plastic bottles, the most important issue, that linked to theenvironmental pollution.
PET plastic it is not biodegradable: the average life of these bottles is estimated at a good 1000 years. A very long period to spend on our planet, considering that most of the bottles are not collected for recycling and end up polluting the environment, from the soil to the waters of the seas and rivers.
The plastic emergency is becoming more and more current and this is why many companies have taken a path plastic free, like NaturaSì, which eliminated plastic bottles from its offer, in favor of water dispensers and loose glass bottles.

How many times can a plastic bottle be reused?

So let's go back to the initial question: how many times can we reuse a plastic bottle? The answer at this point should be: never. Better to prefer other types of materials, such as the glass or the metal, washing them regularly, and maybe using water bottles to prune water around with us.

Did you happen to have no other choice? Reuse the plastic bottle so creative and give him one new life. Some idea?

Cut the bottle in half: the upper part can become a funnel, while the lower one a penholder to decorate. There are also those who use them to create mini greenhouses for the cultivation of small plants, palette for gardening or mangers for birds. The top for a plastic bottle? Help us recycle and dispose of other waste: a plastic bottle can in fact also be used for recovery of used oil, for example that of a frying or preservation of canned food, to transport it to the disposal center.

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