The Inadvertent Gardener Rotating Header Image

Watering cans: Actually functional

I’ll admit it. I used to think watering cans were stupid.

I mean, sure. They’re fine if you’re Peter Rabbit and need to hide from Mr. MacGregor or whatever, but for ordinary gardeners? Really?

After all, when I looked around our kitchen, I saw plenty of vessels perfect for carrying water outside and dumping it into the dirt.

It took one trip out, though, with a pitcher filled with tap water, before I realized exactly why people get watering cans for their container gardens. Particularly container gardens on patios that don’t have hoses with sprinkler attachments. The distribution of the water without some kind of sprinkley functionality? Absolutely stupid. As I poured, I was just making holes in the dirt, thereby displacing basil and sage seeds and whatever else was there.

The day after planting, I went to Target for other reasons and came home with glowsticks (not for the garden, although they would make a nice nighttime decoration on a tomato plant) and a watering can. Those of you who are smarter than I am will agree: watering cans? They’re for more than hiding. They do, indeed, assist with proper water distribution.

In other words, I stopped putting divots in my own dirt.

7 Comments on “Watering cans: Actually functional”

  1. #1 Sharon
    on Jul 27th, 2010 at 8:00 am

    ya forgot the part about the long thin spout being able to reach spots a big fat container can’t!

  2. #2 Dave
    on Jul 27th, 2010 at 9:52 am

    We used to think the same thing…..watering cans????….who needs them?
    Now, we are always on the lookout for used watering cans, as some new ones can get pretty expensive. We’ve found that there are specific uses for the long thin spouts with no sprinker head as well as the big plastic sprinker head type. If you can get the right combo for the plant collection that you are watering, life gets a whole lot nicer!

  3. #3 inadvertentgardener
    on Jul 27th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Sharon, you’re right! That is another bonus.

    Dave, I’m definitely a convert. Not sure I’m ready to have multiple cans, but yes — they definitely all serve different purposes.

  4. #4 thyme2garden
    on Jul 28th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    I went though exactly the same watering experience as you did, and finally bought a watering can. My problem is, I bought a cheapie from Walmart. The sprinkler head sometimes unscrews itself and falls off mid-watering, short flooding disaster ensues. I should probably get a new one, but this first year of gardening has been pretty expensive so far with all the start-up costs, and I’m trying to hold off on adding any new purchases, not because I can’t spare the $10, but because I want to see *some* value out of my harvests. I’m stubborn like that! As it is, I’m probably looking at harvesting $50 tomatoes right now, and that’s if I end up with more than a dozen – they better be darn good! Oh but vegetable gardening is really fun.

  5. #5 inadvertentgardener
    on Jul 29th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Thyme2Garden, yeah…the investment, I find, rarely actually results in a proportional return…other than on the fun side! Also, I support stubbornness, being an awfully stubborn gardener myself… :-)

  6. #6 minnie
    on Aug 10th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    what you say, it makes sense. My watering can doesnt have a shower head thingy and basically just makes a hole in the dirt the way pouring froma a pitcher or cup would. I think I need to make a trip to the store now…
    i bet urban ore might have some!

  7. #7 inadvertentgardener
    on Aug 10th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Minnie, get thee to the store!

Leave a Comment