Watering African Violets - Jiffy Watering System
by Susan J. F. Barbi from The Dixie News Jul/August/September 1995

Are you tired of watering your African violets? Do you mix your water/fertilizer a gallon at a time? Do you have to carry it from the sink to your growing area? One solution is to get your spouse to do the mixing and carrying, or . . . use a Jiffy Watering System.

I mix my water and fertilizer by the 32 gallon measure in a plastic garbage pail. I got the idea from Laurene Jones, and made some modification to it. All the materials are readily available from your local hardware/building supply store. Shown in the picture are the basic components of a Jiffy Watering System.

Basic Components of Jiffy Watering System

Locate the garbage pail near a sink so you can fill the pail from the cold water faucet with a hose. Insert an inexpensive low flow submersible sump pump (or submersible fish pond pump) with a short garden hose attached. My husband, Ken, installed a garden spigot under a sink so I could use the same hose I water my plants with to fill the pail--wow was he tired of carrying those two gallon jugs! On the end of the garden hose, attach a watering wand with a non latching on/off valve so you can lay it down while the sump pump is running. Such a watering wand is available from Fogg-It Company of San Francisco, California It is called a Pot Water & Mist Sprayer. As an alternative, use a Dramm Thumb Valve with a Dramm watering wand after removing the sprayer attachment. Draw your water and add fertilizer, and what ever else you use in your watering solution in the appropriate. If you normally add 1/4 teaspoon of fertilizer to a gallon of water, you would have to add 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons for 32 gallons of water. Allow the water to sit overnight to warm to room temperature and release dissolve chlorine before you begin watering your plants. If you use a water softener in your area, this approach provides the additional benefit of giving you the flexibility to connect to an outside water spigot usually connected to your local water supply before it enters the water softening equipment.

Turn on the pump, and walk around watering plants at your leisure.