How to Slow Water Your Plants during a drought

This year I am suffering from way too much rain but I remember years when we had drought. Over the last few years I have set up many of my garden areas and landscaping to conserve on watering. 094
Creative Commons License photo credit: dlisbona

When the garden season begins you never know what Mother Nature has planned so my motto is “be prepared!”

Setting your garden up for drought conditions can be done by using mulch or planting in containers so that they can be moved into shade or closer to water. You can also landscape your yard and gardens for drought by using perennials, using plants and trees that require less water, or by planting re-seeding annuals, herbs and native plants.

I also water in the morning, use deep watering methods and rain barrels for catching rain. You will find a few more ideas at my sister site Backyard Oasis,  How to choose drought resistant plants.

One idea I have used for many years is watering by milk jug (or a small plastic pop bottle for containers)

Fill the cleaned empty milk or plastic pop bottle with hot water. This will clean the bottle and also help remove the label.
I let my bottles and jugs sit overnight to make sure they are clean.

Use a sharp nail to make a hole or two in the milk jug. You can also use a cordless drill with a tiny bit to make the holes. Just remember the larger the holes are on the bottom the faster your water will run out.

Hint: if you use jugs with holes and without, mark the jug. It’s not fun to fill a jug and have the water run out and into your shoes while placing it in the yard.

Place the jug by the plant that needs water. Using this method you get a slow watering what will soak in the ground near the plant where it’s needed,

Pop bottles

I tent to use small pop bottles in containers. Cut off the bottom of the pop bottle. Remove the cap and place the bottle in the center of a container. I submerge the bottle halfway into the soil. This will act as a funnel and take water directly to the roots. This works well for vegetable plants that require a lot of water. And as the plant grows the bottle is hidden from site.


If you have a fish tank or pond you can use that water to water your plants and then top off what water is removed. You will help clean the tank or pond and have nutrient rich water for your plants.

When not using the milk jugs you can run a string through the handles and store them by hanging them on a wall out of the way

Here are two sites for ideas on hardy plants. I enjoy Hibiscus plants and Best Flower gardening has an excellent article, Hibiscus-a-must-have-perennial.

Home and Garden Online has a nice write-up on native plants, Native Plants: flower-garden-guide. Native plants add so much to your garden landscape.

Whether you have too much rain or too little with planning and preparation you can still have a beautiful yard and successful garden. It just may be a bit more challenging!

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3 responses to “How to Slow Water Your Plants during a drought”

  1. Diana

    Wow! Great ideas for watering plants using milk jugs and pop bottles. Thanks for all the tips on keeping our gardens watered properly during drought seasons.

    .-= Diana´s last blog ..Cape Canaveral Florida =-.

  2. Plan a drought tolerant landscape | Backyard Oasis

    […] Check out The Gardeners Rake for an article on How to water plants during a drought […]

  3. I have used water jogs and pop bottles for years. They really work well for slow watering. Denise
    .-= Denise´s last blog ..Organic Gardening – How to Start a Successful Home Garden =-.

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