On watering hundreds of office plants

jostus(7)April 8, 2013

I just got a job caring for hundreds of office plants at various NYC locations. The watering can I was given seems inefficient. What can I used in place or in addition to it to make my job a bit easier and faster?

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I worked at a retail plant store, but the company also sold and hired techs to care for (water/fertilize) plants in malls, offices, etc.

The techs used a push/watering tank, with various hose attachments on wheels. Tank held 30-40 gallons of water.
Were you given a watering can? Or push tank?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:30PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Who gave you the watering can? The terms "hundreds of plants " and "watering can " don't match up, in my mind.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:46PM
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Oh Jostus, where to start!?! I've been an interior landscaper for 30 years, and a question like yours just makes me cringe. The most disturbing aspect of your question is that you even have to ask it...it sounds as though you were given a watering can, a list of addresses, and no training. Kudos to you for trying to find information on your own.

First, the issue of the watering can. A watering can (should be 2 watering cans, really) is basic equipment for a plant tech. The watering tank, or water machine, as we usually call it, that Toni describes is also basic equipment. You should have a water machine for larger accounts - say 20 or 30 plants, or roughly 1/2 hour service time. On smaller accounts it may be just as easy, or easier, to use 2 watering cans. Very small accounts - 5-15 plants, say - can probably be done with 1 can.

If you're caring for plants in the downtown area, you obviously can't be schlepping a 30 gal, or even a 13 gal, water machine around the city. I know, I worked there for many years. What we always did was to have a designated storage area at the account to store the water machine, if the account was large enough to require one.

But that is not your problem. Back to the watering can. First, you really need to have two 2 gal cans. or use 3 gal cans, if you can handle them. If you have an account which needs more than 1 can, fill them both, carry one to a point part-way through the account and leave it sitting in a place where it won't be tripped over, then walk farther on and start watering with the 2nd can. If you figure it out right (it takes a few tries) you'll finish one can near where you left the other one, which you can pick up and continue with.

If you have a bigger account, but your employer doesn't provide water machines, perhaps you can get a low wheeled moving cart, on which you can set 2,3, or 4 water cans, and pull them around -- almost as much water as a watering machine. You should be able to find a place at the account to store the cart.

I have started a series of short videos to share professional plant care methods. If you go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQwBUWgcYjg you can find the whole series - well, not the whole series, but the first 10 episodes. You may find some useful tips there.

Please contact me at my personal email, I would like to talk with you more, perhaps give you some help if you need it, or even advise your employer on more effective methods of training their techs.

Best of luck to you,

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Tiff -
Thanks for the heads up. Very interesting question. I haven't been around GW for awhile, been involved with working on my book, my blog, a website, studying marketing, grandkids, birthdays, family stuff...you know the drill.

Re: March frost in Fla...who would'a thunk it?
Plant on, sistah, plant on.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:33PM
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