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Irrigation Jugs for Tomato Plants

It will soon be time to plant tomato plants. This is a great way to make sure they get water all summer long.

After your soil has been prepared to planting, and you have your tomato plant or plants ready to put into the soil, do this. Take a 1 gallon plastic milk or juice jug, poke or cut a small hole near one corner (be sure to save the cap). Plant your tomato plant and bury the jug (with the hole toward the plant), up to the neck next to the plant. Then fill the jug with water. Make sure you plant after the last frost. If another frost is suspected, cover both plants and jugs to protect against freezing.


Planting the jugs filled with water cuts down on the daily watering and ensures that the tomatoes are big and healthy. Be sure to check the jugs periodically to refill with water.

By Connie from Oden, Arkansas

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 20, 20070 found this helpful

This sounds like a great idea BUT I am still having trouble figuring out what it is that should be done.

Could you explain this again but in language a 10 year old child could understand...I and my husband are survivors of Traumatic Brain Injuries so we have problems with understanding even the simpliest of things and directions but our bellies thank you in advance!

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 20, 20070 found this helpful

I was confused too, I thought I was to plant the plant in the jug. What I did was plant my plant like normal, but close to the plant, I buried an empty coke bottle that I had put a couple holes in the bottom/side of. I could then fill the bottles with water that would soak in deeper than I normally would get with the hose.

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March 22, 20070 found this helpful

It goes like this. Take your gallon jugs ( or what ever you use-- I use 2 liter pop bottles). Make small holes in the bottom. Put the lids on the jugs. Bury the jug beside the tomato plant. Fill the jug with water and tighten the lid. You will learn how much to open the lid to regulate the amount of water that flows.

Experiment with a jug and don't bury it. Put in 4 holes in the bottom and fill it with water. Cap the jug tightly. Set a timer for 1 hour. Wait and see what happens. If the water doesn't flow fast enough for you-- loosen the cap one turn-- check it again with the timer.

If your jug DOES NOT have a screw lid-- then put ONE hole in the flip lid. Time the water flow again.

Here in Oklahoma where the problem is drying out too quickly, I will try to get my jugs to water over an hour or more because I don't want to lose the water into the air too quickly. Buried that deeply, I may be able to water every other day and still have juicy tomatoes.

Good luck

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 4, 20070 found this helpful

All you're doing is planting an empty jug, which has small holes in the bottom, next to the plant. You keep the neck and/or lid above ground, so that you can fill the jug. The water will leak out of the holes and into the soil, providing a constant watering to the plants - an irrigation. The tightness of the cap will need to be experimented with - in order to determine how tight it needs to be to water the plant for the length of time that you desire.

Simple stuff.

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