Invention Is The Mother Of… er…

My house is some two hundred metres from the road, linked by a curving lane about three metres wide. The irrepressible fecundity of nature being what it is, weeds grow up along the edges and centre of the lane and have to be fought back with weedkiller.

I could get a backpack sprayer and go up and down the lane, but that would take ages. So a few years ago I came up with a better idea: the world’s largest watering can.

I bought a 135-litre plastic water butt, which has a hole for a tap at the bottom edge. Using a combination of flexible hose and brass plumbing parts, I installed a tap that connects to a T-junction between two long pieces of copper pipe. These I drilled, with a long line of small holes.

So, I have a 3-metre spray bar on a large tank of weedkiller, and all I have to do is take it up and down the lane. Too heavy to manhandle it of course (a litre of water weighs a kilo, so the barrel filled would be heavier than me). No problem, the tailgate of the Honda opens wide, and I just had to knock together a sort of bracket from scrap wood to hold the pipes horizontal.

photo of equipment in car

(The hose is filling the tank with water. It doesn’t need to be attached while doing the spraying! The can is agricultural glyphosate weedkiller concentrate.)

I’m hoping that it doesn’t rain for the next few hours while the weedkiller does its stuff. (I picked Glastonbury weekend, usually the wettest of the year, which was probably a mistake.) Last Summer, on the last time I did the weedkiller patrol, it was on a day which the Met Office’s forecast predicted would have “possibility of light showers” and just as I finished, the heavens opened and it rained hard and heavy for about three hours.

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