Friday, June 8, 2007

Gator Woes Part Two- or- Welcome to Water Bag Land!


These pictures illustrate what I wrote about in my previous posting. My appologies to the current residents, but is this really what they want seen from the street? This is a partial view of several hundred dollars worth of watering bags lining a very nice entrance and driveway, and the bags have not been refilled for some time. They DO provide physical protection to the tree trunks against weed-eaters and mowers, but ultimately they will be expensive death shrouds for these poor trees. There may even be a convenient water spigot near the gate which would have served as an ideal beginning for a Trickle Ring irrigation network. Coupled with a battery operated timer, these trees would all be watered on a pre-determined schedule at the same time. How easy could it be?


Anonymous said...

Came across your "blog", and felt (as an avid Treegator user), that I should comment on your "Ewwwww" posting:

First, you assume that the bags are REQUIRED to be left on the tree - when in fact, they are not.

A Treegator Bag can be easily installed or uninstalled, simply by zipping or unzipping it from around the trunk.

When my bags are not in use, I can unzip them and move them to another planting or store them until I need them again (usually not for another 5 to 7 days.)

From what I see - your Trickle cannot be easily moved when not in use - not to mention that the vast network of hoses that would be scattered across my lawn would potentially cause damage to the grass and other planting - much too complicated.

Also - unless I had a precise water timer hooked-up (still haven't found one of those yet) to this product, I would have no idea how much water had been applied to my planting.

This product may increase the saturation depth of the water, but it does nothing to help measure water volume - which means that over-watering or under-watering would still ae b real possibility.

Also - the installation is much simpler with a Treegator. Like I said, I just zip it up, fill it with a hose and I'm done. There's no burying or digging, no "network" of hoses and connections to setup - none of that. A Treegator Bags is so simple that my 3 year-old helps me fill them.

Trickle Ring seems like a nice concept, but in comparison to my Gator-Bags, it falls short on ease of use and design.

Thanks for allowing me to comment!

John said...

I appreciate the comments, Anonymous! I am glad that you have found success with the Water Bag method of irrigation- they are a good (if not relatively expensive and visually distracting) product and can be very useful in remote locations which cannot be reached via hose or tubing. You sound like a very concientious gardener who pays attention to the needs of his trees and shrubs and uses his equipment in an appropriate manner.

Unfortunately, most users of the bags leave them on the trees and do not fill them as often as they should. This summer was especially dry in Central Tennessee as it was in many other areas and I was amazed at the number of empty bags I saw wrapped around dying trees as I travelled through the South. As with most tools, the bags are only as effective as the people who use them.

I designed the Trickle Ring as a versatile, cost effective irrigation device which can be used individually or integrated into a network. By cutting the grass first, then laying out a very simple network from tree-to-tree, the grass grows up around the hose and conceals it from view. Mower blades are generally set at 3" or so which is more than adequate clearance.

The rings are very flexible and easy to move. The rate of water disribution is approximately 5 gallons in 20 minutes at a 4" trickle height. Although it would be easy to "over water" just about any plant, I think it would be much more likely to lose a plant due to "under watering".

You are right about timers- I have tried several brands which all have had problems. The simple "egg timer" type which you manually set for say 15 minutes while you go walk the dog has proven very effective.

I have tried many networks of Trickle Rings over the past 5 years and the results have been wonderful! The most extensive one included over 24 plants including white spruce, birch, plum and maples combined with crape myrtles and dogwoods. Each plant had a Trickle Ring set to an appropriate delivery rate according to size. The network took several hours to set up, but was in place for 2 growing seasons. The grass obscured the hoses and the plants all got a superb start. I removed the rings after the 2 years since the root systems were well established and used them on new plants. In dry weather I would water once a day in the morning, an in wetter weather as infrequently as once per week or so.

The Trickle Rings can also be used to water a larger area such as a flower garden. By turning up the pressure, they will shoot a spray of water up 15 feet or so in the air which can be quite attractive and will attract butterflies.

I would be happy to send you a free Trickle Ring to try out! Just email your address to ""

Your 3 year old may also enjoy playing in it during the hot weather, too, which would be much more fun than wrestling with the Gator Bag? :)

Anonymous said...

i use empty 25lb. bird seed bags, and put it in a large plastic pot from the nursery. I poke a few holes in the bag, use the pot for stability and fill with water. it trickles out and doesn't run off and it! if possible i hang the bag on something near the bush or tree and let it trickle from can get more water in the bag.