If you already know that I have two gardens in two different community gardens spots and each in a different neighborhood, it probably doesn’t surprise you that I’ve been looking for easier, more efficient ways to water.

Several different, yet similar methods for making self-watering drip systems using recycled plastic bottles were found by searching the Internet, so I tested three different ways. First, I punched several tiny holes in the bottom of a bottle, filled it with water and set it in the garden. Second, I punched a hole in the cap of a bottle, filled the bottle with water and placed it cap side down in the garden. And third, I punched one hole on each side near the top of a bottle, filled it with water and placed it top down in the garden. Unfortunately, the water in all the bottles drained out within ten minutes of my placing them on the soil. Recycled plastic bottles would NOT make watering my garden any easier.

Then I remembered how one of the other gardeners at the Happy Valley Community Gardens had told me how she used old wine bottles to help water her garden. Not only did the bottles look pretty scattered throughout her garden, she said they actually worked.
There were no wine bottles in my recycle bin, so thank goodness I have friends with empty wine bottles. One gave me a bottle to try. I filled it with water and turned it upside down in my garden one evening. Then I went back 24 hours later and discovered that only half of the water had drained out. Sure enough, this method would work! So, it was back to my friends for more old wine bottles – thanks Ken and Gwen and David. Now I have two dozen recycled wine bottles in my garden slowly releasing moisture near the roots of some of the most tender plants.

It’s time to water your plants frugally. I fill my bottle drippers with the garden hose. This is quick and saves time.

The used bottles are buried between plants. They take seconds to fill.

All water gets to the roots of each plant unlike sprinklers which allow much of the water to be trapped in the foliage.

“One of the best ways to provide a steady water supply to your plants without your constant attention is the gradual watering system or drip irrigation.

“Through this method a device is employed that slowly delivers water into the soil directly around the roots.

“Commercial watering spikes can be purchased from you local garden centre however, using recycled materials you can make your own drip irrigation system for free.” 1