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Repurpose Milk Jugs for Garden Irrigation

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Milk jugs are a simple (and free!) way to set up a drip irrigation system for garden plants. 

This idea uses the same principle as the ancient irrigation system using ollas – unglazed clay pots that are buried in the ground and filled with water, which seeps through the walls of the pot and waters the roots of the surrounding plants. This puts the water right where the plants need it and saves water that would otherwise be lost to runoff or evaporation.


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Gallon-sized milk jugs work best for use in a garden, though this same method can be used to water plants in containers with half-gallon jugs.


Rainbow Gardens | YouTube

Begin by washing the milk jugs out with soap and warm water.  Then you can either drill the holes in the jug with a small drill bit or use the handy tip in the video below –  fill the jug with water, freeze it, then punch the holes into it with a hammer and nail or ice pick.


Rainbow Gardens | YouTube

Bury the jug in the soil, leaving a few inches exposed.  Leaving the lid on after filling will help prevent excess evaporation and will help keep mosquitoes from laying eggs inside the jugs.  Simply use a hose or watering can to fill the jug with water as often as needed to water plants.