Watering plants in this drought is a challenge for those of us who do not have a hydrant near our gardens. Carrying buckets of water has become my aerobic exercise regimen. Buckets have been working okay for all of the veggies but the sweet potatoes. The thin soil they are mounded in does not lend itself to easy watering. Water runs off without soaking in and the soil erodes around the roots. So what’s a gardener to do?
I wasn’t eager to spend any more cash on garden gadgets, so I looked around the house to see what I could use. I found a couple of empty plastic apple juice bottles and some half-gallon milk jugs and poked holes about the size of a pen point all along one side of each bottle and jug. (Click on images for a magnified view.)
I filled the bottles with water and carried them with their hole-side up to my sweet potato plants. I laid them hole-side down near their roots and let the water seep through the holes. I harvested zucchini and pulled a few sneaky weeds while the sweet potatoes soaked. I had no problem with water running off and away from the plants.
I suppose I won’t truly know how successful these soaker bottles are until harvest time. But with a drought and weeks of triple digit heat, I won’t be blaming the soaker bottles if the sweet potatoes don’t produce!