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Watering Containers in the Woods

rain barrels

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#1 Anne

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:27 AM

Last Summer and Fall I planted several trees and shrubs in a woodland garden that I am just starting to develop. Because of this crazy dry Spring weather with no rain in sight, I just spent three hours watering those babies with two five gallon pails (now I must admit that almost two of those three hours was spent being distracted by other plants and interesting stuff in the woods...but it did require 20 trips...yeah, I know it's great exercise and it's a beautiful day!). However, I got thinking about adding some type of rain barrel/container (s) as "hardscape" in the woods that would make this job a little easier. This garden is growing and I'm getting further and further away from the water source. But I'm not sure if this would be successful (it has to rain very hard for the ground to even get wet under the trees) and I'm not sure how to make it attractive....I'd appreciate any ideas, suggestions, thoughts or alternatives....thanks!
BTW Janet - the garden steps look great! Bluebells and bloodroot are flowering and the foamflowers are starting to grow and spread!

#2 Guest_dcsmith796_*

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:00 PM

The name Guest_dcsmith796 had to be retired

because of a program glitch. (Dang it!)

See his more recent posts as DSmith74.

- Janet & Steven, Forum Administration -

The trouble is you need something with a large collection surface (like a roof) to funnel water into the barrel. Without it, if you get an inch of rain, your barrel will have an inch of water in the bottom, which is not very helpful.

#3 Cricket

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:28 PM

What about a series of hoses that could be "hidden" in beds that lead to your woodland garden?

Consider either a soaker hose buried around the new plantings or attach a water wand to a hose end and set at a trickle under each plant for the time it takes to soak the ground about an inch down - Beats dragging hoses and pails of water long distance...

There are deco hose holders for the last hose that would be moved to water with a wand...

My rose bed has the same water distance issue and both ways mentioned above have worked for the roses.

#4 Anne

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:42 AM

Cricket - thanks for the idea! I knew someone out here would have solved this problem!

#5 Cricket

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:04 AM

Cricket - thanks for the idea! I knew someone out here would have solved this problem!


Glad my suggestion gave you some positive direction...

#6 Janet Macunovich

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:34 AM

Wonder if Steven can lay his hands relatively quickly on, and scan the pre-digital images we have of friend J's Rube Goldberg-esque routing of water from his roof to rain barrels throughout the yard? Even if you wouldn't do it yourself you would mile to see it, and think that what the Romans learned about aqueducts has not been lost. I'll ask him. Probably end up as an article in the What's Up section of GardenAtoZ since any opening of those files will mean a trip into inspired gardening that will require sharing of many ideas.

So right about water this spring. And such a puzzle, that people who are so absolutely accepting of the premature growth ("Really? This isn't usually like this May 1?") are not making the connection that water and other care needs to move up in time, too. Every client I've told "The garden's dry, turn the water on" has responded along this line, "Seriously? I never suspected!" even though you can see from 20 paces that even toughies like peonies are wilty.

Anne, I want to use your quote in an article sometime. It's a perfect capture of gardening's essence:
I just spent three hours watering ...with two five gallon pails (now I must admit that almost two of those three hours was spent being distracted by other plants and interesting stuff in the woods...)
If that's okay, should I attribute it to Anne, your initials, your full name, to anonymous... (You can reply to me by personal message or email as necessary, if you'd rather not have the full name or initials here.)


#7 Karen Skandalaris

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:40 AM

A true plant lover! It's great to here I'm not the only one who would drag buckets into the woods! I think I've tried it all... buckets, soaker hoses, even siphoning water from a stream. I once considered burying a cistern in the woods. The soaker hoses worked great for me as well but I just covered them with leaves and forest floor litter rather then burry them. If buried it's just one more thing I might hit when I dig to plant something else. Garden centers and catalogs sell a hose spigot on a metal post that you can attach the soaker to. Place it somewhere easy to access then just attach your regular hose to the other end of it when you want to water. I also used a timer because you want a long soak and l always kept forgetting to turn it off. Don't forget to mulch well with leaves or leaf mulch if possible, try to select plants that are native, and plant smaller. A less mature tree or shrub will acclimate faster and it's less costly if it dies.



#8 Guest_dcsmith796_*

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:38 PM

Mine are too far apart (and too variable) for a pipeline. I have to use a tanker.

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