Watering Cans

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watering cans - galvanized

Trusty galvanized
watering can

When it comes to watering cans, I think you need 2 general types.  The first type of watering can is your trusty functional watering can which you cart around and delivers a soft spray (note I said soft gentle spray, some watering cans deluge your seedlings and that's not what you want for tenderlings!) to water in your plantings.  Add some seaweed extract to the water when you do this essential and very satisfying finishing touch to your handiwork - your seedlings will LOVE you for it.  The other type of watering

can I would call purely decorative and just sit there looking pretty and makes for a real folksy type garden ornament.  I've known people to use watering cans as fountain spouts, planters (you need to drill drainage holes for this if this is your choice) or just as a garden ornament.  There are different types of watering cans for various functions.  Obviously if you are watering small flower pots with plants that dislike overhead watering eg African Violets - water the soil, not the leaves otherwise they get water marks, then a narrow spout watering can which delivers small amounts between the leaves would be your watering can of choice.  If you have a lot of hanging planters to water, you need a watering can that is small enough so that the constant lifting won't knock your back out.

floral watering canssmall galvanized watering canslong nozzle watering cans
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Watering Cans - choosing the right ones for the job

I personally have a couple of watering cans handy.  One superlarge watering can - the galvanized steel type (you can probably buy a large plastic one which would do the job equally well and weigh half as much) which I lug around whenever I plant seedlings or other plants and water in with.  I've always thought about getting a plastic watering can to replace my old galvanized watering can but there's something nostalgic about carrying a bit of history with me as I plant so I've never really done any different.  The bigger the watering can, the less frequently you are going to need to refill at the tap.  And there's the tradeoff, either you buy a huge mammoth one which weighs a ton after it's full of water and make just 2-3 trips back and forth or you choose a lightweight compact watering can and make a dozen or more trips.  I usually add some seaweed extract in the water to reduce transplant shock and encourage good root growth just to give the plants a head start.

I also have a couple of smaller watering cans.  One with a narrow nozzle for my African Violets and Begonias - which allows me to deliver the water straight into the potting mix and avoid water on the leaves.  I have another what I call 'mid range' one which isn't as heavy as my galvanized bohemoth - this mid range wonder I use to water my pot plants and my hanging planters.

Watering cans - the alternatives

As with all things modern, there are now new fandangled watering wands which can save you the trouble of lugging your watering can around and delivers at the press of a button.  I've personally never used them.  Call me old fashioned but I actually LIKE using my watering can to water in my plants, plus I can mix in the seaweed extract in my watering can.  Can't do that with these wands.  And I'm a bit skeptical about how it

watering wand

This watering can claims to deliver a 'gentle spray' onto your seedlings when there's all that water pressure built up behind it.  That first jet as you press that button often delivers enough oomph to act like needles...that's my opinion.  To each his own, some people find these watering wands a life saver, it means less walking, less work, less time in the garden.  I guess these are all things I don't associate with gardening, if anything I want MORE time in my garden, MORE exercise, a little hard work never hurt anybody.  There is however 1 watering wand which I wouldn't hesitate to recommend and that's this one.

long reach watering wand

If you've got those hard to reach plants that need watering, then this little contraption is a lifesaver.  It's called a rain stick and all you do is to fill it up with water and then it works like a syringe, you push the handle up and voila, it delivers the water to your hanging planters.  No more ladders or standing on chairs.

Watering cans - more

There are other innovative ways that gardener have used watering cans for and these are just some that have caught my eye.

See also garden hose reels, garden hoses

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watering cans