Water from the bottle: the Solar Dripper makes for an optimum water supply for plants – from orchids to tomatoes. Photo: Solar Dripper
Bottles instead of the Watering Can
Summer holidays may be the most beautiful time of the year for most people. Sun, sea, relaxation and good food – you can never get enough of that. Often, though, the joy of all those good times comes to an abrupt end upon returning home. Especially when the plants in your garden or on your balcony have not survived due to insufficient watering.
An invention from France aims to save us these worries in future. The Solar-Dripper system does not take a lot: a stable plastic bottle with a screw cap, a matching Solar Dripper Attachment and house plants are optimally supplied with water for one month and balcony and/or garden plants for a week.
The special, patented technology adapts the water supply automatically to the plants’ needs. This means the flow rate is higher on a sunny day and lower when it is overcast. No power is needed since the water flow is triggered by thermal changes. The heat of the sun makes the air volume trapped inside the bottle expand; when the temperature comes down it retracts again. With heat water drops are therefore pressed out and with cold air bubbles are sucked in.
For plants big and small
The flow rate depends on the size of bottle and/or how full it is. For a low flow rate the bottle should be filled up to 90%; for a high rate it should be filled half.
The Solar Dripper comes in two versions: the standard version SD is designed for plants up to one metre high and, hence, suited for many indoor plants as well as balcony and garden plants such as geraniums, petunia, roses, and begonia, to name but a few.
The red XL version ensures more intense irrigation for bigger plants (tomatoes, pumpkins, sun flowers, and shrubs) and in the event of a heatwave.
Which bottles are best?
The Solar Dripper can be purchased with ready-to-use, pre-calibrated bottles of rigid plastics. However, recycled bottles work just as well with the dripper attachments. What counts is that the bottles are relatively rugged – be they made of glass or plastic – and that the bottleneck is 28 mm long. Glass bottles principally slow down water flow by some 20% to 40%. The bigger the bottle the higher the flow rate.