watering tomatoes with plastic bottles

Could someone please describe to me this method again? It has been described on this newsgroup before, but I want to try to do it this year to see if I can fend off blossom end rot by keeping the plants evenly moist. I have been saving several of the large gallon sized plastic water bottles. I think what I remember is that some tiny holes are pricked in the bottom of the jugs, and then they are filled every other day or something. Is that correct? Also, should the jugs, which have small lips, be capped or left open? Thanks.
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On Thu, 5 Aug 2004 12:52:58 -0700, "gregpresley"

I never did it myself, but my uncle always watered his tomatoes that way. He simply put one pin sized hole in one bottom corner of the milk jug and buried the jug up to the neck. He then filled the jug up and said it lasted all day and he filled it daily. You would need to leave the top open or put an airhole in the top otherwise the vacuum would keep the water from dripping out.
Hal
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Thanks for your quick response, Hal. I will get to work on this tomorrow, unless someone else chimes in with a first hand experience that contradicts it.
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wrote:

They have some new things they sell now. I haven't tried them yet, but they look promising. They're little cone-shaped plastic things you screw on top of plastic bottles. You put them on top of the bottles then stick them into the ground. I've seen them advertised in several catalogs, but haven't gotten around to trying them yet. (snip)
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I tried them. They are a plastic spike you push into the ground. You can punch out holes at the depth you wish to water, and put an inverted two liter pop bottle filled with water into them. It can take from a couple minutes to a couple hours for the bottle to empty. I bought them dirt cheap (pun intendend) from Harbor Freight Tools.
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On 06 Aug 2004 11:54:15 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comic (TOM KAN PA) wrote:

I plan to try them, but I might have to "assist" them a bit, since there's no way I'll be able to shove anything plastic into the ground except where I've cleared out the rocks(the beds I've worked). This Ozark soil is VERY rocky, and the rocks are tough.
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Thoughts on this: 1. In a really hot climate, the water evaporates as fast as it drips out. 2. Tomatoes seem to benefit more from a deep watering that promotes deep roots. This provides mostly surface water and shallow roots. 3. If you're going out to the tomato plants to fill the plastic bottles, why not just water the tomatoes while you're there instead of filling bottles?
Emilie NorCal (hot)
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

I've always put large coffee cans around my tomatoes as soon as I plant them. The cans are buried in the ground a couple of inches. This not only seems to prevent cutworms but makes watering simple - just fill the cans. Had very little blossom end rot.
This year I tried without the cans. About the same amount of water, at least I thought so, but I got much more BER. I think the cans concentrate the water in a small area so it goes much deeper.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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Yes this seems to be a good method. I have used the cans also. Another good idea for keeping the soil moist is keeping a couple of inches of mulch around the roots.
Emilie
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