More Accurate Hand Watering: Watering seedlings with squirt bottles

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More Accurate Hand Watering

By ShadyGreenThumb
January 19, 2013

Use a squirt bottle to control the amount of water and prevent over-watering for seedlings and small plants.

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Jan 18, 2013 6:32 PM CST
Great tip! I do the same thing when I'm not using a pump sprayer at very low pressure with the nozzle twisted to "mist".

i like mustard squeeze bottles because they have smaller openings.
But ketchup bottles are bigger and hold more water.
Your idea of actually buying a condiment bottle would never have occurred to me, but I bet the tiny tip is great for this purpose.

Sometimes I give the bottle a small down-and-up shake so that just a little "plop" of water comes out in one cell.

Sometimes I squeeze a continuous thin stream while I move the bottle along a row.

To be extra-gentle, I'll squirt the continuous stream onto the plastic dividers between rows. Then the water runs off the divider and into the mix with no force.
[Last edited by RickCorey - Aug 26, 2013 5:21 PM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jan 18, 2013 8:21 PM CST
I use the spray bottles all the time, but never thought about using the squeeze bottles. Good tip!
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Jan 18, 2013 11:57 PM CST
Great tip! Thanks for sharing! Thumbs up
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Name: Teri
Mount Bethel, PA
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Roses_R_Red
Jan 19, 2013 5:05 AM CST
I have been using turkey basters for years. I guess the squirt bottle holds more water and would be more efficient. Thanks!!!
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
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Joannabanana
Jan 19, 2013 10:54 AM CST
I'm going to pick up a squirt bottle today. Thanks for the great tip Green Grin!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jan 19, 2013 11:46 AM CST
Yea! I found the one I KNEW I had! I was worried that I might have tossed it. Hurray! That's going to be great for watering those tiny seeds.
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 19, 2013 1:11 PM CST
The most use I get from squirt bottles is filling the vases of all my bromiliads. Just aim and squirt!
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Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
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mistyfog
Jan 19, 2013 11:40 PM CST
Great idea. I've been using a turkey baster which also is used when more water
is in the drain pan than I want to leave. The squirt bottle would hold more water
too.
Name: Teri
Mount Bethel, PA
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Roses_R_Red
Jan 20, 2013 7:00 AM CST
Yes, Misty, I think the baster is better at sucking up the over abundance of water in the drain pan and the ability to refill it by just squeezing the bulb is pretty neat, also.
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

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PollyK
Jan 21, 2013 12:09 PM CST
Great idea!

They also make trays with no holes in them to set the plants trays into for watering. You see the top starting to get damp, or however you gauge your plants needs and then just pick that tray out and put another in.

eurbati
Feb 2, 2013 10:35 AM CST
Thank-You. What a great idea!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 4, 2013 1:54 PM CST
I just found that 1/4" irrigation tubing fits the holes in my ketchup and mustard squeeze bottles really snugly. Now I have an extension that puts the water right where I want it.

And jamming an 1/8" tube into the 1/4" tube gives a smaller stream. But I suspect a real condiment bottle puts out a finer stream!

I wanted to be able to attach an irrigation mini-sprayer head, so I could spritz with a gentle mist, but the squeeze bottle won't create enough pressure to get a spray: just a dribble.

I WAS able to get a really tiny stream out of an 80 cent "Mini-Mister" spay head. That has a REALLY tiny orifice.
http://www.dripworks.com/product/MM
[Last edited by RickCorey - Mar 10, 2014 1:37 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #355271 (12)
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Mar 2, 2013 2:12 PM CST
Gotta say, I just started using my little old ketchup bottle for watering, and it is going to be a lifesaver! Or at least a hand saver. Smiling So much easier to use with my decrepit, aching hands than the spray bottles I've been using! And I can use it with my left hand (that doesn't hurt quite so much) with no difficulty. Thanks so much for this suggestion! Thumbs up
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Mar 4, 2013 8:43 PM CST
I agree, ketchup bottles are great.

Now I need to find time to make up 4 trays of seedlings!

[Last edited by RickCorey - Mar 10, 2014 1:38 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #367575 (14)
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Mar 4, 2013 8:57 PM CST
I'm not so much short of time, as energy. Sigh. Usually, I have to restrain myself from starting stuff in January; now I'm having trouble getting anything going here in March! But, I do have two tiny tomato seedlings in the GH! Smiling I'm really quite impressed with how well my little ketchup bottle is working, particularly with the vermiculite! Soaks stuff nicely without disturbing the seeds and/or tiny seedlings.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Mar 4, 2013 9:24 PM CST
>> impressed with how well my little ketchup bottle is working, particularly with the vermiculite!

You have a steady hand! I have to shift to the mustard squeeze-bottle to get an assured-steady stream.

Some times, if there is not too much air in the bottle, I can hold it inverted, and none comes out until I gave a little down-and-up shake. That pushes out just a small splash, not too fast.

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