There are many different ways to water your garden. You can have a very extensive water gardening system, a sprinkling system, or the do it herself water hose. If you are someone with limited funds, and want to make sure your roots are well watered, there is another way that is cheap and easy; it is your simple plastic water bottle. If you drink a lot of water like I do, there is an endless supply of these water bottles.
There are many plants in your garden, which need lots of water. You have your tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes, pumpkins that are made up of mostly water. As these plants began to produce the fruits, they need more and more water. A lot of the watering systems mentioned above can waste a lot of water. This is where your plastic bottles come in handy.
Preparing a plastic water bottle
You will need to find a nail, or a pin or another sharp object to poke holes in the bottom of your water bottle. You want to make the holes big enough that water can easily flowed through, but not pour out of the bottom; if the hole is too small, the water would drip too slowly or not at all. You will need to poke at least 4 to 5 holes in the bottom, spread the holes around the bottom of the plastic bottle. Make sure to keep the top of the water bottle. Now you are ready to prepare the ground around your plants.
Preparing your ground and planting your plant or seed
This needs to be done at the time you are planting your plants or seed, or once your seeds have sprouted and your plants has at least 3 to 4 more leaves then the two true leaves that are the first to appear. Doing this after you plant has sprouted may be a little more difficult if done after the plants have come up from seed. If planting a plant, first dig a hole as deep as the bottle is long. Place your plastic bottle into the hole. Pull your dirt back around the bottle to wear only the opening of the bottle shows (leave about 2 inches of the bottle above ground), at this time make sure the top is still on the bottle. After your bottle is covered up with soil you can plant your plant about an inch or two from the bottle. This is the time also to plant your seed. You can plant your seed as close to the bottle as you want. It doesn’t matter if the plant is planted in front of, behind, or beside your plant. You now have your watering system reading to go if at any time there is a dry spell for 3 or 4 days. If you are using this for watermelons or pumpkins and fruit has started to appear they will need to be watered more often. Your top should now be off the water bottle. You now can pour water into your water bottle, and fill it up. Now you have created a slow drip water system watering your roots. This helpful if the dirt is dry from lack of rain; this method keeps the water from just rolling off the dirt and being wasted.
*If placing your water bottle after the plants have come up make sure you do this two to three inches away from the plant as not to dig too close to the plant to damage or cut the roots.
Since this will be a slow drip and under ground you can fill your bottle up with water every 2 or 3 days. Watermelons and pumpkins need about a gallon a week once the fruit appears and is in a steady growth pattern, tomatoes are the same way. They need a pretty consistent supply of water. You can use a water hose to fill up the bottles, I usually fill up a gallon jug with water and go around and pour into the bottles. I only do this if 2 days have past and we have had no rain. You plants will love this ready supply of water to soak up when they need it. I would suggest if you put the top on the bottle, put holes in the top of the bottle; this will keep the water flowing.
* One quick note, once your cantaloupes start to turn brown STOP THE WATERING. Believe it or not cantaloupes taste better if you don’t water them when they are turning brown, too much water will make the soggy, they are not like watermelons and pumpkins that need a lot of water as they are ripening!