Why 17 Watering Cans????

Confession: I own 17 watering cans.  Just those green plastic jobbies that hold about 7L of water. So many people are in awe of this – I have no idea why.  Plastic because the gorgeous metal cans with the beautiful brass spouts and handles are TOO HEAVY when full. Be kind to yourself in the garden…buy light tools when possible.

Why so many?  Only when I am drip watering trees and very large rose bushes (my climbers that are well over 10’tall and 6’wide) do I use a hose to water.  While convenient – more or less – watering with a hose is not garden friendly.  The water that is arriving from deep and far along your water main is increasingly cold.  The tiny, hair like capillary roots that pull the water and nutrients are literally petrified by this flow of cold and getting colder water.

I fill up my watering cans and let them sit in the sun. This warms the water to ambient (air) temp and lets the chlorine burn off.  Then I water my plants – beginning with any new plantings I may have and moving to shrubs and bushes next.  I NEVER (ok hardly ever)

Established perennials seldom need watering

Perennnials save water

get water on leaves.  Leaves are lousy conductors of water unless it is mixed with nitrogen and oxygen which only happens when it rains.  Using a watering can lets you root water – just getting a slow and gentle flow of water on the roots.

Oh that reminds me.  You know those spout caps that come with watering cans that imitates a ‘gentle rain shower.”  get rid of it.  Throw it away or use it as a gap filler (filling the hole in the watering can through which you fill it.)  They get the leaves wet.  You ONLY want to water the soil around the base of the plant.  Not the leaves.  A steady gentle stream of water from your watering can is perfect.

Watering in the morning is best before the sun gets too hot or direct. Watering at night tempts fungal action in the encroaching dark.

Jeesh, this sounds like work right?  Stop complaining – you likely did not have to haul the water from a well or a distant river.  Just think, how would you feel if somebody sprayed you with freezing cold water that hurt your feet and made your toes curl.


About realgardeningforrealpeople

I LOVE GARDENING. My garden is the best place in the world and yours can be too. It is the place of sanity, equality, growth and tolerance, beauty, energy and tranquility. It is the best of life all in one place. Big or small, your garden is worthy of your energy, time and love.
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2 Responses to Why 17 Watering Cans????

  1. Dianne says:

    Any tips for iris? I split a few last year because they were getting tonnes of leaves and just a few (if any) blooms. A delicate yellow bloom surprised me in the garden today – what joy – but appears to be the only one. I LOVE iris, always have and always will. I can’t get enough, I want more blooms. Any help?

  2. Is your iris getting enough light? They love full sun but failing that, at least full morning sun. Are they too deep in the soil? This is really important for iris. You should actually be able to see the corms, which always makes me cringe in winter, but that is what they like. Iris also need air so dividing them was a good idea. The earth may need some ammending – Nincompoop compost or mulch is great for this. Just brush off the corms so they are exposed.

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