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Posted:  06 Apr 2011 20:14  
My technicians are very attached to their watering buckets.  I have noticed 3 diferent styles that they use.  Is there a specific brand that works best for our industry?  I tried to provide new ones but they are very protective of the old models.  I just want employees to look as professional as possible.
Posted:  07 Apr 2011 15:54  
We use Dillen 2-gallon cans for those accounts where we can't use watering machines...residential, mostly.  Otherwise, they mostly collect dust in our service vans.  To be truly professional-looking (not to mention truly professional actually), you should strongly consider investing in a small Aquamate or similar machine for each route that consists mainly of commercial properties with on-grade/ramp/elevator access to all areas.  Your techs will become instantly more efficient and effective, tools and paperwork will be secure and organized, and your clients will be most impressed.

Clem
Posted:  17 Apr 2011 13:49  
"machines" are not always more efficient.  It takes longer to get them in and out of vehicles, locate a water source that someone has NOT changed the nozzle on for your filling, (been there too many times!)

Yes, some accounts this works for, beautifully.  Just saying sometimes watering is easier/faster with bukets.  I sometimes have to find new buckets just so they will fit under NEW faucets some client HAD to have!  LOL...  beauty isn't always practical for a water bucket to get under.

I DO love my Aquamate products.  When used correcltly and maintained you can't beat them.  Staffers all want them too, for larger accounts.  Can't blame them.  The machines cannot stay outside in the freezing weather/in cars though.  If you are in a winter cold zone, know that.  You occasionally will have to check the bladder for proper psi/air, as this is what powers the pushing of water OUT of the machine.  Flat tires, occasionally, and by flat I mean they have a ton of miles and you need new ones.  biggest issue is leaky nozzles/missing your mark when watering...splish splash, take a bath!  Takes practice sometimes...but are great tools for our trade.
Posted:  17 Apr 2011 14:47  
I don't know of an account (other than residentials) that is easier to do with watering cans...lugging, spills, multiple trips to refill, wasted time running back and forth to the same spots...who needs THAT aggravation???

Getting the tank in and out of the van is no more time-consuming than loading and off-loading cans and buckets.  Maybe a bit more of a workout, but hey, we can all stand to be in better shape, no?

It's 2011...go with the appropriate technology!

Clem
Posted:  26 Jun 2011 13:52  
Speaking as a tech, with 17 yrs at the same company, I ALWAYS use a bucket. My Aquamate is for larger accounts. In my case, hospitals. I've never used the nozzle that is supplied. I fill my bucket from my Aquamate and use the bucket for watering. I think it quite awkward to haul a large machine into the offices for 1-4 plants.

We get attached to our buckets because we know the flow rate. I dread getting a new bucket because of the adjustment period in learning the new rate. I clean the outside of mine with soapy water, as needed to keep it from looking dingy.
Posted:  27 Jun 2011 19:25  
We have almost no accounts that are too small to benefit from the efficiency and professionalism that accrue through the use of a watering machine.  Yes, there are a couple of residential accounts and maybe a couple of very small office accounts (ten plants or less, which are rare) that still get the "bucket" treatment, I'll admit, but those are really dinosaurs at this point.

The "bucket" image is what is responsible for our industry's low esteem with many clients.  The machine definitely pays for itself in terms of efficiency and providing a professional image to the client and prospective clients who see you working with it.  Worth every dime.

Clem
Posted:  28 Jun 2011 05:01  
This is where we differ, Clem.

Our company is small. There are 5 employees (4 techs and one full time nursery) and the owner. I'm the PCO as well as being a tech. The bulk of our work comes from atrium and hospital clientele.

I handle most of our companies small accounts. Quite a few are medical offices crammed with patients. It much more professional, IMO, to excuse myself as I slip by the waiting patients, with a bucket in hand, then it would be to haul my machine to the same places.

I've serviced many of these accounts for well over a decade, personally. I have never had one complaint about be unprofessional. I'm sure I have quite a few complaints if I tried getting a machine by some of my clients' pregnant patients.

I don't consider any of them or the way in which they are serviced, antiquated, or to you your term, dinosaurs.

Machines definitely have their place and their uses.

IMO, it's a judgement call in knowing your clientele and in knowing whether a bucket or a machine is the more appropriate (professional) approach.
Posted:  28 Jun 2011 12:42  
theres nothing unprofessional about using watering cans. calling them "buckets" is very unprofessional howeveer
Posted:  28 Jun 2011 23:20  
Plant Lady,

We do hospital work, too, as well as offices constructed with some of the most challenging pathways and cubicle-habitrail-layouts imaginable.  How do you water hanging plants or TOPSiders that are above your head with a watering can?  Do you drag a stepladder around each account to help you safely reach them?  Not us...we use the wand on our machine to do that.  Safer and more professional, IMHO, but to each his/her own.

I still do tech work on a semi-regular basis, and I only use my watering can for a few accounts without elevators and at some residences.  But it's only because I have no better alternative due to the architecture and access limitations of the sites, not because I like it. 

I love my (customized) Aquamate!!!

Clem
Posted:  29 Jun 2011 06:54  
Marcus

One of the best balanced water cans is the Dramm 7 & 10 Liter units. German designed and Swiss made, but also fairly expensive, but they can not be beat.

Rick
Posted:  30 Jun 2011 23:37  
Clem, I love my Aquamate too

The hospital I service has gone to floor plants only. I do have a few low CA10s, with pothos, in the Exec. area. Yes, I use a small step ladder for them. It's just 6 plants out of reach. They are done in less them 10 mins and the step ladder stows safely from its hook on my Aquamate.

TPL
Posted:  01 Jul 2011 01:31  
Okay, Plant Lady, I forgive you!

Clem
Posted:  01 Jul 2011 05:16  
I agree with Rick, Dramm is my favorite!
Posted:  01 Feb 2012 22:01   Last Edited By: italirican2003 
We use an OXO watering can for watering the plants all over campus and I love it! Our instructor wanted to take it to the greenhouse we rent for a class and me and the other person who water plants on campus almost had a fit! The instructor thought it was funny and allowed us to keep ours and is going to buy another one for the greenhouse. It has a soft/grippy handle. The spout rotates so it's easier to carry without accidentally catching on things and storing. And, it comes with a removable attachment that makes the flow more fine and gentle.http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Watering-Can-liter- ...
Posted:  02 Feb 2012 05:25  
I just brought home one of those Oxo cans to replace my missing European watering can that I use for my windowsill collection of orchids, succulents and other oddities.  It's okay, but I can see the potential for leakage at the point where the spout rotates before too long.  The removable sprinkler head is a problem already, falling off the storage nub as it does so often...it will probably get lost soon, but that's okay, because it's about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

Clem
Posted:  03 Feb 2012 18:15  
Clem, I've wondered about the leakage probabilty at the base of the spout also. I take the head off when using it. I've used the can for a while now and still like it. I'll probably continue using them for a while.
Posted:  02 Aug 2012 22:58  
I'm a bit late to this water bucket discussion, but I've been in the interiorscape business for 25 years.  I started out with the 2.5 gallon Primescape watering can - the big brown bucket. It lasted 10 years.When that one finally gave out, I thought I would try something new.  I ordered one of the much more expensive Dramm watering cans.  It lasted 2 years and then cracked near the handle.  For some reason, I tried another one like it and in 2 years, it cracked in exactly the same place. I will only order the big brown bucket from now on. It handles well, and the spout is way above water level so you don't get much splashing out. It is less expensive and it lasts!
Posted:  03 Aug 2012 03:12  
My Aquamate gets NO water splashing out, but that can be refreshing in hot weather...

Clem
Posted:  12 Aug 2012 19:10  
Trees, especially newly planted ones, need proper watering to ensure survival and vigor. Young trees are very susceptible to damage from lack of water due to their lack of an extensive root system. Trees that receive too little water will become stunted and eventually die. Trees obtain their water through their roots so this is where you need to apply the water. Bark and leaves do not transport water to the tree and watering these may actually cause harm. Since trees need ten gallons of water for each trunk diameter, a good watering method is to use a 5-gallon bucket to water the root zone. Does this Spark an idea?


Read more: How to Water Trees With Buckets | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_7498105_water-trees-b ...
Posted:  18 Aug 2012 02:54  
Yeah, it sparks the idea of why on earth would you go to all that fuss when you can just water around the roots of the tree from your water machine.
Posted:  18 Aug 2012 14:34  
Exactly.  Every trip back and forth to the janitorial closet to fill up those 5-gallon buckets (each weighing more than 40 pounds full) is time wasted and an accident waiting to happen.

Clem
Posted:  27 Aug 2012 20:02  
When I worked as a tech at a medium sized firm, I greatly preferred to use buckets.  Many of my accounts were in crowded offices with narrow hallways.  I spent 4 days a week on my office accounts and the 5th, I did my residential route. I could always find a staff kitchen, janitorial room, etc. where I could easily refill my buckets.  One of my colleagues used a machine in a ten story office building we serviced together.  She had to go all the way down to the basement for refills and was constantly having to negotiate bottle necks which slowed her down considerably. I really zipped, and all my clients loved the care I gave their plants.

As others have stated, much depends on the layout where the accounts are located.  If your techs are doing a good job with the buckets- ie the plants look good and the accounts are finished in a reasonable amount of time, why mess with success? 
Posted:  02 Sep 2012 04:15  
I have never come across a situation in 30-plus years that did not lend itself to an Aquamate Model 3 machine getting access.  Between its narrow profile and the ability of the hose to reach another 10-12 feet from the tank to the plants, it's great.  Also, you can hook it up to any faucet using a simple faucet-aerator-to-garden-hose adapter, purchased at any plumbing supply store or home center for about three bucks.

Why risk MAKING A MESS for success? 

Clem
Posted:  01 Oct 2012 02:40  
Ok,here goes,its not too complicated.Ive been a tech for over 20 yrs. Regardless of what Clem says the watering bucket is a very useful tool. I agree with you Plant Lady when you say it depends on the account you are servicing.Its all comes down to common sense!Some accounts are large enough that a watering machine is the best method to watering plants.On the other hand i have been using a watering can for over 20 years and its been working just fine(brown 3L can).There's nothing unprofessional about it either.As long as you scope out the account and find numerous watering sources the can(bucket) is just as effective.I am one of the best techs in the Tampa area and the bottom line is that you want to make your job as easy as possible.I can get around  a big hotel much quicker by using a bucket.Maybe for some people who dont know how to work efficiently this is a problem but the bottom line is you have decide the best way to attack an account and get the job done!This only makes your job easier which is what you should be striving for.Btw ,for those hard to reach sinks i have a shower head adapter which hooks up to any sink.They're sold at Walgreen's and are indispensible.
Posted:  01 Oct 2012 15:24  
We'll have to agree to disagree, and really it's a matter of what works best for your type of accounts.  But I'll be that if we ran a contest with six techs using Aquamates and six using watering cans to do the same accounts, the Aquamate team would win on the basis of service time efficiency, all other benefits of the machine notwithstanding.

Clem
Posted:  06 Oct 2012 23:40  
Oh Clem, come on, it so totally depends on the accounts.  If you set up your contest using small (5 - 10 plants) accounts, just the extra time for dragging the machine in and out of the truck would give the win to the cans.  Maybe you don't have small accounts where you live, but we sure do.  For other accounts, sometimes one, sometimes the other - like frantic sez, you do what's most efficient for the circumstances.  And as for mess, it's not that one system is inherently less messy than another, it's how they're used, and how much care the tech takes.
Posted:  20 Mar 2014 11:34  
These containers can be seen as a hybrid between hydroponic gardening (plant roots growing in nutrient-enriched water) and conventional container gardening.  Self-watering containers help conserve water and nutrients and make it possible to ignore your containers for a few days.Artificial Grass Coventry

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