I may or may not have just invented something new! I’ve been pondering for a while how to feed all my apple trees. Specifically this came about when I looked at my Weather Underground app and noticed a rather beautiful but dry week ahead for us here in southwest Michigan. The problem is, how do I water the trees where I don’t overdo it, where I don’t spend a while outside being a buffet for mosquitoes, and where I can water my trees on days that won’t have any rain without having to fuss any.
As I was walking home from taking the bus today it struck me as I was looking at all the lawns and gardens that I pass on my way home from the bus stop on East Main Street. Why not repurpose gallon-sized water bottles? I buy pure water for my cats drinking and food-additive water when I go to the market anyways and after I scrounged around the house I found three exhausted one-gallon jugs of purified water. Usually I just crumple them up and throw them in the single stream recycling bin where they go to be recycled, but as I was walking it struck me, why not poke very tiny holes in the water jugs and then I could put them out by the trees base and let the jugs drip-water my trees. It works wonderfully well! I keep the plastic from the recycling stream and I can fill them up in the morning with exactly one gallon of clean water and then cap them. One teeny hole at the top lets in air while there are two teeny little holes at the bottom that slowly let the water drip into the tree’s base. I don’t have to screw around holding the hose, wondering how much water I’m delivering and exposing myself to those nasty little bloodsuckers, at least not any more than I have to in order to water my trees. The only trick was figuring out what to make the holes with. The perfect tool is a thumbtack but I don’t have any at home, no application for them, so I tried the next best thing – flair-button pins! We’ve got a decorative glass bowl full of flair buttons. I grabbed a worthless one that nobody would care about and pulled it’s pin out, turning it into a kind of funny looking thumbtack. It did the job perfectly. Poked a next-to-invisible hole at the top, then two or three in the base and that’s that, all done! I went outside, filled the jugs with water and walked them over to the trees. Over the span of maybe half an hour the jugs will lose all their water. I know I have delivered one gallon of very slow drip-drip-drip water to my trees, not flooding them and not having to worry about how much or exposure. In the mornings when it won’t rain I can go outside and with the hose fill up each jug lickety split. Cap them and walk away.
It’s free, easy, and I think at least a fair bit clever. I think this could also work really well for our garden once we get it going. No more having to worry about how much water, how frequently, or any of that. And no more buying stupid “watering hoses” that disintegrate or don’t work properly when you get them home. This way it’s free, active recycling, and for four apple trees, that’s four gallons of water. Bam. I could even sneak some fertilizer in there and shake the devil out of them and dissolve the fertilizer or food and walk away.
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