“This process will keep the root wet enough throughout the day with minimum quantity of water”

Next time when you discard used plastic bottles, think twice before doing so. They may be of some use to you. These pet bottles, which often add to the garbage, can turn a saviour of smaller plants that need water to withstand the summer.

An agriculture officer K. Arumugam of Chokkikulam uzhavar santhai has developed a simple drip irrigation model using such bottles. “This is a simple method. We have tested at our uzhavar santhai. All that one needs to do is to fill the bottle with water and use fibre of coconut sheath, instead of caps, to seal its mouth. Make a small hole on the ground closer to the root of the plants and put the bottle upside down.”

The District Police Office premises near Surveyor Colony here have put the system into use. Scores of used water bottles half-buried upside down on the ground are ‘feeding life’ to the plants around the dry tank in front of the building housing the office of Superintendent of Police. A closer look will reveal that the bottles are ‘breathing’ with bubbles coming up through the water inside.

“The water will seep through the fibre drop by drop and directly feed the root. This process will keep the root wet enough throughout the day with minimum quantity of water. The quantity of water which is consumed in a day in conventional way of watering the plants can last for nearly a week,” the Superintendent of Police, V. Balakrishnan, a post-graduate in Agriculture, said.

For the police who were trying to find some solution to keep these saplings alive, this has provided some relief.

People who want to go away to enjoy summer vacation can use this system (use a two-litre bottle) to keep their plants alive for a week, Mr. Arumugam said. “Besides, the used plastic bottle is put to good use,” he added.