Bottle and newspaper make young tree happy
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CTA. 1999. Bottle and newspaper make young tree happy. Spore 83. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46508
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore83.pdf
If you have experience with planting young trees, you will know that the best time for planting is a few weeks before the rainy season starts. Young trees usually develop deeper root systems if the soil is relatively dry and the water table is low....
If you have experience with planting young trees, you will know that the best time for planting is a few weeks before the rainy season starts. Young trees usually develop deeper root systems if the soil is relatively dry and the water table is low. Growth is then sturdier; in addition, trees with deep root systems are more drought-resistant than trees planted in damp soil. The problem is to keep your trees alive in the dry period preceding the rains. According to Dee Raymer from Machakos, Kenya, there are many possible solutions: however, none is ideal. One of the better known is the method of the inverted bottle in the soil, close to the roots. It is quite effective but refilling is a tedious job and sometimes the bottlenecks get clogged with soil. In Ecoforum 22-1, Daymer presents a method, which is a combination of different techniques. Dig a planting hole about half a metre deep and wide and line it with a single layer of newspaper. Fill it with alternate layers of organic matter and soil (see drawing). Organic matter is made by mixing manure, organic kitchen wastes, some compost, and a handful of bonemeal. Bonemeal is a good slow release fertiliser, which stimulates root development. Each layer should be damped. Make four small holes with a hot needle in the bottom of the plastic bottle. The bottle is placed next to the tree, slightly off the centre of the hole. The neck of the bottle with a screw cap! should rise just above ground level. Place the root ball remove planting bags in the centre of the hole in a layer of organic matter. Fill the rest of the hole and apply 1 litre of water across the hole. Then cover the hole with a double layer of newspaper. On top of that apply dry soil covered with a thick layer of organic mulch. That layer is overlaid by stones to shade the soil and reduce daytime soil temperatures. The amount of water released by the bottle is regulated by the tightness of the cap. Unscrewing the cap for ten seconds every day makes a little water go a very long way! Dee Raymer PO Box 2356 Machakos, Kenya