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Botanical Buddy eases watering chores

Rocklin company created the device and manufactures it
By: Gloria Young, Home & Garden
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When Newcastle’s Walter Beasley couldn’t find a watering system that suited him, he built one “Necessity is the mother of invention,” said Beasley, whose company, Powder Craft, manufactures the mechanism in Rocklin. Named the “Botanical Buddy,” it us a terra cotta soil-piercing device pointed on one end and open on the other. When attached to a container, such as a wine bottle, it allows water to seep slowly into the soil. “It’s particularly good for a lot of reasons,” Beasley said. “There’s not another product like it. It’s all natural. You can see the liquid. A lot of people over water flowers or plants because they have no guide to go by. This is far superior to the glass globes. It doesn’t plug up and you can actually see when the plant needs water.” The reason it works so well is the terra cotta. “Terra cotta has been used in one form or another for thousands of years,” Beasley said in a press release. “An (important) attribute that terra cotta has is that it is porous in its raw cured state. So it will only give the plant roots as much water as they need to be perfectly healthy and happy. Another reason we used terra cotta is that it is completely natural and on top of that, it just plain looks good.” There’s another thing that makes the “Botanical Buddy” stand out. “The terra cotta is fired at 2,000 degrees, which makes it very durable,” Beasley said. Beasley, who says gardening is a family passion, adapted the idea from a product no longer being made. “We were heartbroken that we couldn’t get them anymore,” he said. So he got to work and created the molds, producing the first saleable batch in December. Currently Botanical Buddies are available at Eisley Nursery in Auburn and Green Acres Nursery and Ace Hardware in Roseville. Beasley hopes to have them in all area nurseries soon. The terra cotta waterer won’t run over the top, he said. “And the terra cotta, when it gets wet, will turn more red. The deeper it is into the ground, the more water the plant will get,” he explained. “When you see the water is getting low, pull up the bottle and pour the remaining water around the base, then fill it again. Out of the 750-milliliter bottle, you should get six days. Out of 1.5 liter bottle, you should get as much as three weeks (of watering). For people who are going on vacation and want the plants to be tended while they’re gone, fill up the bottle, say adios and don’t worry about it while you’re gone.” Beasley said it works for any kind of plant — potted or growing in the garden. But each plant needs it’s own watering device. “You can buy it with or without the bottle,” he said. “We get our wine bottles from Carpe Vino (in Old Town Auburn), so they’re all recycled. We have quite a variety of different kinds of bottles.” Beasley adds personal, artistic touches to the wine bottles, engraving unique designs at the company plant in Rocklin. No two are alike, he said. “A lady from Grass Valley, who has a lot of plants on her deck because of deer, didn’t like running the drip lines because they’re unsightly,” he said. “These are very attractive, especially with the designs on them.” The product is produced entirely onsite at the company shop in Rocklin. Powder Craft, which makes the watering device, is an electrostatic coating company. “We put decorative utility coatings on fences, gates, motorcycles and exhaust hoods for stoves,” he said. Beasley plans to break out his own stock of the decorative waterers in the spring when he puts in his vegetable garden. He grows tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, radishes and chives. “Right now the garden is covered with cloth to sterilize the soil,” he said. “Come planting season, we’ll have a nice clean start.” At Eisley Nursery, Nancy Newman said Beasley’s Botanical Buddy offers another choice in watering systems. “It’s kind of a mindless thing,” she said. “Certain plants require more water. I can put it in those plants and not think about it for awhile. So it is the convenience of it. It’s nice because you can utilize the wine bottle or something else you like the look of.” Eisley sells the terra cotta tops for $7.99 with the wine bottles sold separately. Reach Gloria Young at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com. ----------- botanical buddy For more information call (916) 652-5808