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Plastic bottles for watering plants.


 
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 898
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:57 am    Post subject: Plastic bottles for watering plants. Reply with quote

I attended a course in polytunnel growing at Seed Savers in Scariff. The woman leading the course recommended inverted plastic bottles with the bottoms cut off stuck into the ground as a direct watering system.

I tried this. They kept falling over. I tried again, outside, with a bit of bamboo cane stuck in as well, but the wind pushed them over.

With the hated water tax coming in, I want to try again. Has anybody used this system successfully? I have approximately 100 2 and 3 litre bottles that I've collected. I do not care if they look unsightly in the garden as long as crops grow.
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kindredspirit
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Joined: 10 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put the bamboo cane on the outside and tape the bottle to it.

EDIT: A stick or dowel rod is better than a bamboo cane in those circumstances.

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Good guy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried this with the tomatoes I grew in a grow bag last year but the water kept welling up and spilling over the surface of the compost, anyway. Suggestions, anyone?
I remember my dad used to sink a perforated piece of wavin pipe about a foot long into the soil beside the tomatoes in his greenhouse. That worked well.
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get a garden trowel and sink a plastic plant pot totally into the soil, then fill the bottom third of it with some of the excavated soil.
Fill the bottle with water and invert it, pushing it lightly int the soil at the bottom of the pot.
The bottle should stay standing.

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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your advice! Logic suggest that the best way forward would be to use four flat sided pieces of wood, and probably gaffa tape. I do have loads of pots James, but mostly P9s and 1L I use for raising plants. I intend to use this system for all my raised beds (4' wide), which is why I collected so many bottles, and still am. I can always recycle them later if need be. Thankfully my 20 year old nephews are fond of cider, and my little nieces like 7up.

For things like mangetout, I will stick to the watering can. But a 3 litre bottle in the middle of climbing beans? Would that be enough, or would it be better to do a kind of pentacle arrangement, ie: one in the middle and five in the gaps between poles? My polytunnel tomatoes will have one per plant. I have found that as long as you water consistently, the tomatoes might be smaller, but the less water, the better the flavour.

Garlic, leeks and broad beans (I grow Sutton), I think would be too closely spaced to make it practical. But. If I were to plant at 6" spacings in a block pattern (triangles) I could potentially use one bottle for three plants. Where the bottle is, weeds can't grow.

Am I completely mad?
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