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When it comes to summer time and plants drying out, what I find works is taking water bottles (like Perrier water bottles found in the recycle box at work), filling them up with water, and then sticking them in soil about 2-3 inches in the soil. This lasts for about 4 days in containers.
For outdoor garden, I place it close to the plant and it last about 3 days. As the soil drys it allows for air to be released and allowing the water to fill up the spot where the air has been created. No need to worry about overwatering with this method, as gravity works its magic. No need to spend money on glass balls for watering. If you want to decorate them, modpoge them with tissue paper.
Source: My Mom
By earthygrrl from Toronto ON, Canada
It is always so hot here in the summer and I like to have flowers and vegetables on my deck and in the yard, but can't afford the water bills to keep them watered between times of rain.
So I cut the end off the bottom of a 2-liter plastic bottle, turn the bottle up-side down so the neck (without the lid) is in the ground next to the plant. Pour water in the wide part of the open bottle and it will keep the plants moist through the day and I don't waste water from the hose.
I also put a stick through the holes into the dirt so the wind doesn't blow the bottle over. This works great. You can add your fertilizer to the water and water and feed plants at the same time. I have several in my garden.
I hope this idea helps others.
By Sharon from Van Buren, Arkansas
I live on a hobby farm and we've planted an orchard on our property. With the droughts that have been going on we didn't want to lose any trees. My husband came up with this idea on his own a few years ago and we even use it in the gardens now:
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I am thinking of soaking my garden by melting small holes in soda jugs with my leather burning tool ( a flame to a needle or screwdriver might do as well), then sinking the jugs right side up to their necks into the garden dirt near the plants with about 3 inches exposed above ground.
That sounds like a good idea. It would use very little water but it will be labor intensive to fill the bottles daily. It might work for just a few bottles but I'd hate to fill 50 of these a day.
You could melt the holes like you said, or drill them with a power screwdriver.
I did something similar for my outdoor containers last year. I just punched holes in 20 oz bottles, buried them with their caps on. I didn't need to fill them everyday, just once every 2 or 3 days. People would ask me what they were there for. I would laugh and say I was growing pop bottles. LOL they worked great! Keeping the cap keeps the bugs out. Also, this way you can put your fertilizer in with the water. Try it, you'll like it.
With the bottle sitting right side up drill a 1/16 inch hole in the side of the bottle below the little collar just below the cap. Cut the bottom off of the soda bottle most have a ring about 1 1/2 inches up from the bottom cut there. With the cap on bury the bottle upside down in the ground up to where the bottle starts getting its biggest roundness if your dirt is real loose you may need to bury it a little deeper. With the bottle sitting up right the drilled hole under the collar keeps the hole from getting stop up with dirt and it lets the water drain on real slow. Doing them this way makes them a lot easier and quicker to fill and not that much water will evaporate. I have tried different numbers of holes at different places but this works best.
As long as you buy the bottles. We have strong winds and if you just place the bottles on top of the dirt, they will blow away once the water level decreases.
I have done this for years with 100% success! The difference being, I always use 1 gallon glass jugs. They are perfect! These jugs do not have to be refilled daily. You could go away for the weekend and not have to worry, and you will be surprised at how little water they use. They do not blow over in the wind. They are recyclable year after year. I put one at the base of every plant in my garden and since I like funky, eclectic garden art, they also look pretty cool.