My 'thingness' came upon me and I had a flash of transcendence.
"What, if," thought I, "I used shade cloth instead of plates atop my irrigating clay pots?"
I got myself home. Cut me some circles of high level shade cloth and pegged the 'lids' atop my clay pots.
No more flying saucers!
No more having to lift the stone ware plates to fill the pots or to monitor their contents.
When hand watering, all I need do is squirt water into the depression to fill my terracotta pots to the brim.
Easy peasey.Quick as a flash.
Aside from the labour involved in removing eighty -- yes 80! -- lids to irrigate my whole garden, it always concerned me that mosquitoes could sneak under my lids to breed. I'd get snails and slugs too inhabiting these chambers because the plates were never snug enough.
With adjustments as the cloth settles I can now look forward to keeping these beasties out.
While I decided on simple clothes pegs to attach the shade cloth to the pot rim,I reckon the grip is strong enough to support a cane toad wetting its rear end over night.
Any rainfall: straight into the pot.
Morning dew: into the pot.
My one trade off is evaporation but then research suggests that shade cloth spread over water storages can reduce evaporation by up to 90%.
Given that the zone immediately around each pot is often the most verdant anyway, the plants fed by the pots will supply even more shade.
Given that the system is primarily gravity fed , the higher the level of the water in each pot -- the further the moisture will spread and irrigate.Since my habit was to refill the pots when they emptied, I can now simply top up the water level of each pot as I hose the garden.
I expect the shade cloth to mould itself to the shape of the pots as heat and use bears down upon the folds.
My irrigation time has been cut in half. I can even fill pots 2-3 metres away from where I stand.
Is there a downside? So far, none found.
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