Easy Solution to Deep Watering - May be helpful

aliska12000(Z5)June 2, 2009

I'm trying not to be an attention hog by starting a bunch of threads, but I go quiet at times, and things are moving fast now, thought I'd share.

Some of you have sophisticated watering systems and wouldn't be interested. Soaker hoses are great for some areas but unwieldy or impractical for others plus you have to leave them on for a long time in the summer heat to soak down far enough thereby watering your weeds as well, if you have weeds from not mulching because you want some areas to self seed. Even if you do mulch, they can be useful.

I cut a round circle out of the top of 2-liter pepsi bottles with a hot blade (a pain) so I can fill them easily from the top (w/whatever is easiest and convenient) and leave them in the ground. Otherwise you would have to pull it out of the ground, unscrew the irrigation spike each time, and fill. You can also dispense liquid fertilizers with them.

The first ones were hard to push down in dry ground, so I took a hammer and very large screwdriver and pounded it down, then rotated the screwdriver in cone fashion, and they slipped right in. We've a lot of rain this week, but I needed them earlier and will later on.

They will get clogged at times, need unclogging, have two holes down on the side and a slow drip in the tip, so I will try to solve that problem by putting a piece of screen over them when I can get to it.

They are a little unsightly but in some places the foliage hides them anyway, and this is making things so much easier for me and dragging the hose around as frequently (some plants can go a lot longer w/o watering).

I'm not hawking Harriet Carter, but will provide a link to where I got mine, am sure you can find them other places.

Here is a link that might be useful: Irrigation Spikes - Harriet Carter

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Oh yes, I do it to new plants when I have to leave for some times. There are also plastic bottle carriers that have a simple system to allow a few drops at a time to flow into the ground so that a bottle can last from 10 to 40 days depeninding upon how fast you want the drop to fall.
They cost about 2 euros each (3$) and prevent that stones or mud stop the water from flowing.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Did a google search for "irrigation spikes" and found a less expensive source

LTD Commodities
10 spikes for $4.95


Here is a link that might be useful: Irrigation spikes from LTD Commodities

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 4:55PM
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scardan, I haven't seen what you are talking about, and if I hadn't spent so much money already and gotten these going, they sound very useful; if I left for a month I'd have to have bunches but my kind empty fairly fast when working right. Another thing I've done, but it's hard to fill the jug, it's not hard but easiest in the kitchen and not at the faucets outside where I have hoses, is to cut a slit in the bottom of a gal milk jug and set it where you want it to drip, leave cap off or air pressure/inside suction will cause collapse.

Diane, good job. That may help others. That is a much better deal. That half the price per spike than mine cost. Too bad I already ordered a second set because they're working so well for me. Oh well.

I don't understand why the bottle doesn't collapse in the Harriet Carter photo like my capped milk jug did other than the plastic is a little heavier, not that much though except parts of the undulating bottoms of bottles are really tougher. That's why it was a pain to cut the circles out. It just takes patience is all.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 5:26PM
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allison64(So Cal San Diego 10)

This is a great help! Last time I took a trip I came back to very sad roses. And was a very mad rose lady! This would help immensely. Now I have to find someone who drinks big bottles of soda!
If they would hook up to booze bottles I could get them from my obnoxious neighbors on recycling day! :-)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 5:49PM
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Or, first enjoy, then poke one small hole for air and then a second hole sized to pull cotton wick through. Set jug on it's side to drip. Practically free!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 5:51PM
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Great...thanks you all for the links!! My dad use to place a small pole next to his teas and let water with miracle grow drip from plastic coke bottles. Man had the most beautiful roses I've ever seen. Course he was retired and spent his time with them.

I will try these as they solve one problem !!

Quicky question...leaves are turning light noticed my hostas aren't staying deep green and several others around the yard. Need potassium...anyone?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 9:38PM
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This is getting good!

allison, for a trip, the European product sounds like it would be more effective.

jlj, I've read people put Miracle Gro on roses, I have plenty, but hesitate to use too much as I've already applied Mills Magic and compost.

Other than that, the one advantage to the bottles is it gets closer down to the roots and not as likely to water weed seeds near the surface. The other methods will indeed work and may try them.

Last year I ran out of pepsi bottles for rooting roses and use them to start seeds in the ground with a little well scooped out and put in some potting soil in small areas. That method at this season, tops should be off for venting and you cut off the bottoms and screw them in. I only had to water about every 3 days as opposed to 3X a day to keep the soil moist enough for my seeds to germinate (some seeds don't like to be transplanted, and I was trying to grow florist gypsophilia - banned in some western states!). Yay, I finally have some buds after waiting 3 years. A person on the perennials forum told me to scratch some chalk dust in the soil.

Um, I've been known to buy bottles at the supermarket when I run out. I mean 5 cents, pretty cheap gardening equipment. People in my state don't usually recycle soda bottles in trash but turn in at supermarket for deposit refund, but I do go through trash if I see something I need or might use. Sometimes I don't want it and offer it on Freecycle saying that it was rescued from trash, a twin stroller w/one broken wheel tagged airline ticket stub (prolly reimbursed in full by ins), a really nice office chair, a Lane Bryant leather coat w/small tear (those people got evicted). Oh, and a swivel desk chair that wasn't a good fit at my puter. People are glad to get a lot of things.

Now if I could just find those bigger bottles. I don't usually drink that stuff.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 10:43PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

aliska, off the subject, I know, but is that darling little rose in the picture by any chance Spice? It looks a lot like my little Spice. If not, would you tell me the name of the rose?


    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 11:38PM
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ingrid, sorry I didn't see your response until now.

If you mean the white one, we don't know what it is; I rooted it from a cutting I got from a garden not too far from me. Grown right (withstands almost total neglect) it's almost a climber, I posted a link to some photos, very hardy, a big issue in my zone. I thought it has some of the characteristics of Madame Plantier, but the experts think not.

There is a thread I started recently here about final attempt to ID a couple of roses.

The little pinkish one you see through the bottle is a foundering Reine des Violettes.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 2:46AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Thank you for your reply, aliska (and your thoughtful e-mail pointing me to this thread). Silly me, I should have paid attention to your zone. I imagine Spice would be much too tender for your area, since it's thought to be a tea or china.

I hope you can find out the identity of your rose. It's so frustrating not knowing the name, although I suppose the world is full of roses whose names have been forgotten or were never known. Thank goodness their beauty lives on.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 5:21PM
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Hi Ingrid,

Rarely do I email people from here, but it's hard to keep track of threads you're watching on these forums.

To occupy myself last night, I wrote up a photo essay about my unknown roses and a couple of known ones just because they're heirloom, with photos, put it on my web space with a link from my main page. I can tweak it and add to it whenever.

I seriously doubt I'll ever find out what they unless through a sharp spotter or fortuitous coincidence. I'm resigned to it. There are just too many different roses out there; sometimes even the experts have trouble, and they devote a lot more time to it than I do. I really love them even if they aren't what people want. I looked up Spice and have been to so many pages, I can't exactly remember what it is.

Here's that page, you can see how the white one is supposed to be if I succeed. Maybe I'll start another thread later on since I got all my before and after photos organized concerning cuttings I rooted or suckers growing. I've been posting a lot more on forums here than I usually do, but it's kind of nice to check in after doing a tiring chore outside.

I'm really sad though that two of my unknowns have completely disappeared from where I originally got them.

I sure hope I can pull that RDV through, love that rose.

Here is a link that might be useful: Unknown Roses - Roses I've found and rooted

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 6:24PM
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