Mustang, Oklahoma, United States
60-ish 'child of the prairie' who loves sewing, baking, knitting and most of all -- family & friends.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cool gardening tip

Our Southern Plains summers are hot -- and, I do mean hot. Hot like in – whenever you do venture out in June, July or August you feel like your are stepping into that ‘fiery underworld’ that all those Southern Baptist preachers warned you about every Sunday morning, Sunday evening and at Wednesday Evening Prayer Service.

To survive our hot weather, we depend on that wonder of modern science, air conditioning. And, it is mandated in this part of the country as a necessity, not a luxury. We Oklahoman's thoroughly enjoy our air conditioning and so does our local electric company. But, our flowers and tomato plants we lovingly put into the soil in the spring, don’t have the option of coming inside into the cool.

Well, this year I’m going to try something new to keep my plants a little cooler and well watered. This gardening tip comes from one of my ‘birthday books’ shipped directly from LLB in the Pacific Northwest.

East drip irrigation system:
This provides constant source of water to your plants, lowering the temps of the soil and you can even add fertilizer to the mix and get it directly where your plants like it best, at the roots.

1. Drill 4-8 holes in the cap of a plastic bottle (water or soda bottles, any size w/cap). For slower flow, drill fewer holes rather than making holes smaller (smaller holes become blocked with soil).
2. Cut off bottom of the bottle with a serrated knit to create a funnel shape. Screw the cap back on.
3. Dig a hole next to your plants or between a group of plants – bury the bottle (cap-side down) at least 1/3 down and press soil around it to hold it in place. Fill the bottle with water (with fertilizer added if you like).

The water will slowly seep into the soil, giving you plants a long slow drink of water. Don’t forget to refill your bottle-irrigation system when they are running low.

This is such a ‘cool’ idea and it’s also cheap! Two of my favorite words !