One of the better ways to deliver water and nutrients to plants is directly to the roots. It encourages strong root growth which in turn leads to stronger plants. Not only is it a good idea for the plant, it also reduces water loss due to evaporation.
That being said watering the leaves, flowers and fruit of a plant also has its advantages.
But can we do both?
Well the answer is yes, and following these few simple steps will have you irrigating, saving water, recycling and growing happier healthier plants in a jiffy.
How can you refuse?
Step 1: What You Will Need
You will need.
An existing sprayer irrigation system.
1 x Empty plastic 2 liter bottle
1 x rigid piping, used in most irrigation systems to elevate the sprayer head
1 x sprayer head
1 x threaded pipe joiner
1 x dress pin
1 x awl (I have one on my Swiss army knife)
Step 2: Preparing the Lid
Take the lid off the bottle and remove the inner liner.
Next use the awl to make two holes, one must be large enough to form a tight fit with the threaded joiner, and one slightly larger to take the inlet pipe from your irrigation system.
Step 3: Make Some Holes
Take the two liter bottle and using the pin make a few small holes in it. I usually make about 4, starting with one at the base to allow all the water to drain out, and then the rest about halfway up. This way the water is distributed evenly to the soil. I have also experimented with doing them in a spiral from base to lid and this seems to work equally as well. Don’t make too many holes or the water will run out of the bottle very quickly. The idea is to drip feed the water into the soil.
Step 4: Put It All Together.
Screw all the bits together, make certain that the threaded joiner makes a good seal with the lid of the plastic bottle.
Now you are all ready to take this out to the garden.
Step 5: Dig a Hole
Dig a hole deep enough to take the bottle to just below the neck. You want to bury it, but still see the lid.
Step 6: Attach to the Irrigation System
Insert water inlet pipe from the irrigation system. Use the pin to ensure that the pipe is not forced back out of the hole by the water pressure.
The reason for leaving the tops visible is so that you are able to add fertilizer to the bottles, allowing it to be mixed and then distributed above and below ground, for effective root and foliage feeding.
This technique (minus the sprayer) can also be used in square foot gardening, if the bottle is placed at the point where four squares join.