My boyfriend is a proud country boy at home in the great outdoors or the back woods of Kentucky perhaps in any event. So when he came to join me here in SoCal he was eager to plant a little garden in the land of sun and .. well more sun. It’s the desert after all. Don’t let all those manicured and chemically altered green lawns fool you. We live in the desert where it seems nothing grows except granite and intolerance. So when the melon blossoms would shrivel up and die each day, my man had to think outside the planter box.
“I knew how to water plants back home,” he said to me one morning as he was downing another 32 ounce bottle of Gatorade which had become his blood line when he realized what DRY HEAT does to his system. “I could drench the ground in the morning and it’d be good for a couple of days. But here I gotta water first thing every day and then again at supper time.”
Even still, he noticed that our sandy soil wasn’t holding the moisture like the rich clay and compost that he was use to tilling back home. As he finished his Glacier Freeze he had an idea and went into the kitchen for a metal skewer.
He carefully poked four holes around the bottom edge of the empty bottle. (A nail, awl, tack or other sharp object can be used with care.) And then dug a hole in our garden next to a new artichoke plant that was joining our planter box crops.
Before putting the bottle in the ground, he filled the bottom of the jar with sandy soil. About two inches deep. Then took the hose and powered a stream of water into the container to distribute the dirt so that the heavy rocks would work their way to the bottom.
He built up the sides around the new plant to prevent water runoff and then placed the bottle in the ground near the roots and filled it with water. The soil at the bottom helps to slow the release of the water reserve over the course of a few hours even on very hot days. You can fine tune this homemade drip system by adding more holes or more sandy substrate to your bottles.
We put a half dozen jars in our little melon patch too, and we are happy to report that our blossoms now mature into healthy yellow flowers and we even have a few new tiny cantaloupes beginning to grow.