This year I am planting my tomatoes and cucumbers (North Texas)
In little plastic wells so I can more selectively apply water during
What I am doing is to cut the bottoms out of the plastic buckets
of about 6-8 inches diameter and put them in the ground, filling
them with good dirt and leaving about 2 inches vacant between
the top of the soil inside them and the rims....
The top of the soil in the plastic bucket is about even with the
outside soil, so the "rim" is about 2 inches above the terrain.
In this way I can
water the "well" with about 2 inches, which will soak down into
the root area... I am also surrounding the outside of the
plastic well with about
2 inches of leaf mulch...
Has anyone else tried this and did you have positive results ?
Andy in Eureka, Texas
I have done something similar, only I used 2lt. bottles with top and bottom
removed. No compost around the bottles, layers of old newspaper around the
plants to help hold water and reduce weeds. This worked pretty well here in
Georgia. In Texas, I would set up 'dew catchers' to help water the plants.
what is the advantage of this idea? When I pull tomatoes I see that
their roots extend several feet out. Of course I have sandy soil, so
it costs them nothing to spread their roots. I suppose that in
extremely heavy clay it might be different, but typically the root
mass equals the aerial mass. If you have a 8 feet tomato plant, it
will probably go down 4 feet and out 4-5 feet in each direction.
Well, my area of Texas is in the middle of the longest drought
in recorded history.
Water has become very expensive, and selective watering seems
like a good idea..
My tomato plants last year only grew to about 2 feet high. Plenty
of tomatoes, but it didn't seem reasonable to water a LARGE space
to give moisture to the roots. And , when I pulled up the plants,
the roots didn't go more than a foot or two.. We seem to have
different soils and growing styles......
Thanks for your input... If I ever find myself in sandy soil and
have unlimited cheap water, I'll probly do the same as yourself....
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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