by Texas Homesteader ~
We are always looking for ways to repurpose empty coffee cans. I’ve found a way to use them in the vegetable garden to conserve water. Perfect!
Keeping plants watered during the hot, dry Texas summers requires some consideration for sure. Come see my conservation tips.
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Watering Plants In A Summer Drought
In the heat of summer, the rain taps typically turn completely off here in NE Texas. It’s not unusual for us to struggle keeping everything watered during those times.
I suppose I complicate things myself by insisting that all outside watering be done only though Captured Rainwater. I’ve never liked the idea of treated, drinkable water being pumped through a labyrinth of pipes underground from miles away just for me to pour onto the ground.
So with a few exceptions (such as during drought when the trees could die if I don’t offer assistance), plants are watered using only captured rainwater.
Our Various Rainwater Collection Systems
Since I like to use only rainwater to water outside plants, I make sure to have plenty of catchment systems to assure it’s always (or nearly always) available. There are a Few Rainwater Collection Systems we prefer to use here on the Homestead.
For instance, I have two 50-60 gallon *rainwater catchment containers attached to house gutters on opposite ends of the house.
When they’re full I use a large 30-gallon overflow bucket to capture even more water. I keep those buckets covered to ward off mosquitoes, but in the photo below I’ve removed the cover so you can see how much water they hold.
I use those overflow buckets first, dipping watering cans into them to fill and water plants.
I also have a 100-gallon galvanized trough that captures rainwater from another gutter located between the two listed above.
That’s a lot of rainwater capacity, y’all! And any tiny amount of rain refills them over and over again.
Underground Cement Cistern Captures Rainwater
I also have a deep cement cistern with a pump that I use to water my garden. That water is also captured from a downspout in our home’s gutters.
But it’s delivered to the cistern via underground pipe. When I need to water the garden I flip on the pump and water away!
But even though this cistern holds several hundred gallons of water, when the rain taps turn off it doesn’t take long watering the garden every other day to drain that cistern.
So I’m still very careful with my water use. Especially during the hot, dry months of summer.
Conserving Moisture In The Garden
The intense sun can dry up any moisture in the soil pretty quickly when the high temps tickle with the 100 degree mark, which is common here.
So I’m sure to cover the ground around my plants. This both insulates them from that heat as well as conserves moisture.
I typically use spent hay from around the hay ring. Many other gardeners might use (cured) grass clippings from mowing their lawn. Others might use crushed leaves or wood mulch. But the important thing is to cover that ground.
I also utilize living mulch. To be honest, this is my favorite. I simply plant vining plants in my garden to grow along the soil around other plants.
My favorite vining plants are cantaloupe, pumpkin, squash or watermelon. They grow along just doing what they do and making us food. But in doing so they’re also shading the ground and preserving moisture for my tomatoes. Win/win, yes?
Eliminating The Weed Competition
Anyway, today I’m in the garden watering. I usually try to water in the cool of the morning – and it’s gonna be a HOT one today!
As I’m giving the plants a drink I am reaching down and pulling up any wayward weeds or grass that’s popped up.
I certainly don’t want a weed taking up valuable nutrients and moisture from my garden! Those small plants are placed in a Repurposed Coffee Can to be delivered soon to my composter
Slow The Flow For Deep Soak Watering
Another way I’m able to conserve water is to find a delivery system that allows the water to drain out slooooowly. This gives the water a chance to soak in down to the roots instead of running off.
For potted plants I’ve used a Plastic Jar With A Lid Drilled With Holes. RancherMan simply drills the lid of the jar with tiny holes.
I’ll fill the jar by dipping it into my rainwater’s overflow and screw the top back on. Then I’ll tip it upside down on top of the soil at the stem of my plant and let gravity do the rest.
Over the next several minutes I’ll see bubbles rising one by one. That means the water is dripping from those holes and watering my plant. It’s the easiest way to water potted plants.
But today in my veggie garden I’ll use a similar method for my deep soak watering. Only this time I’m using an empty repurposed coffee can.
Various Uses For Empty Coffee Cans
There’s a more complete list of things I do with empty coffee cans at the bottom of this post. But today I’ll be helping my garden plants stay properly watered.
Repurposed Coffee Can To Water Garden Plants
First I took the snap-off lid from an empty coffee can. Then I punched several small holes in it with a nail punch.
Now when it’s time to water my one of my garden plants I take off the lid and fill the can with water from a water hose bringing rainwater from my cistern. Then I snap the lid back on and carefully turn it upside down.
Once again, gravity will do its thing and the water will drip slowly from those small holes. The roots get a thorough deep soak watering, giving the plant a fighting chance against the brutality of yet another 100-degree Texas summer day!
Since the coffee we love to drink comes in these handy cans, I always have plenty ready and waiting to be used.
And I think conserving natural rainwater for deep soak watering while helping my garden to thrive is a fine use for them indeed.
Coffee Canister Repurpose Ideas:
- The Trick to Removing The Print On Coffee Cans
- Making A Cute Country Bread Box
- How To Make A Flour Canister
- Storing Bulk Items In The Pantry
- Replaceable Food Storage Dishes
- Using Repurposed Canisters In The Garden
- Repurposed Coffee Canister To Cute Inexpensive Planter
- Making A Low-Waste Chicken Feeder
- Coffee Canisters Into EcoBricks For The Garden
- Empty Coffee Can Repurposed For Grape Harvest
- Repurposing A Coffee Can For Deep-Soak Watering
- Coffee Can Repurpose In The Laundry Room
- Fun Ways To Repurpose Coffee Canisters
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