Here in SoCal, we are experiencing those summer middle-of-the-day scorching temperatures. The kind of temperatures that cause our garden plants, not to mention us, to wither and wilt. My poor water-loving squash plants are no longer satisfied with my drought-friendly Monday-Wednesday-Friday watering schedule. They need hydration more often, which spurred me to make these nearly-free drip waterers.
This idea isn’t really a new one, but I’ve found that it’s a super cheap and easy way to keep my water-loving plants happy. Using this method allows me to water those that need extra water, while allowing some to dry out a bit between waterings.
My daughter is a bottled water drinker, and while I’m not wild about the trash that creates, I am thankful to have found a way to repurpose them. They work well in my garden, and I am positive they will work just as well for my container plants.
To Make the Drip Waterers
There’s not a lot to making these drip waterers, all you need are empty plastic bottles from water or soda, the lids to the bottles, a drill with the smallest drill bit you can find, and a pair of scissors.
First, drill one hole in the lid of the bottle. I say just one to start with because your smallest drill bit may not be small enough to allow the bottle to drain slowly. Do this with as many drip waterers as you need to make.
Next, pop a hole in the low side of the bottle (keep the lid on–it will help the bottle to crush less when you poke it with the scissors) and cut around the bottom. Try to cut as close to the bottom as you can so your bottle will hold plenty of water. Do this with all of the waterers you are making.
With a hand shovel, make holes next to the base of your plants and insert your waterers. Pack dirt around the waterers so that they stay in place. The deeper the hole, the more likely they won’t fall over, but I went in about 3 inches (up to the label on the bottle) and that works fine for me.
Note: These waterers have worked fine for me, but at some point the small hole in the lid got clogged with dirt. It would be good to give these a good rinse every week to make sure that the hole doesn’t get dirt buildup in there, which causes them to stop draining and watering your plant. So far, this is the only negative to using these waterers.
What is your biggest frustration with gardening from year to year?
- Do you forget what you did to make last year's garden a success?
- Do you forget which plants do the best in your area, and in your garden's microclimate?
- Does it take you forever to pull together a plan of action each gardening season?
The Gardening Notebook is the solution you need!