Clever tip to make sure your plant gets enough water at the roots

milk jug used to water plant
Poke a small hole in a milk jug or kitty litter jug. Fill the jug with water and set it next to a plant. The water can slowly trickle out and water your plant deeply. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

We haven’t had much rain lately, so if you have new trees, shrubs or perennials, continue watering them to make sure they have a strong root system before the ground freezes.

Sprinkling water on top of the soil every day doesn’t help. The water has to get all the way down to the roots.

Here’s an easy way to water deeply. This tip is from Kat in Amherst:

To water new or expensive plants I use an ice pick to make a small hole one inch or so above the bottom of a kitty litter jug, opposite side from the spout. Fill it with water and set the jug so the water runs at the base of the plant. There’s no waste and you know how much water each plant gets. Milk jugs work also.

Bonus tips: Here are some things I learned doing this with a milk jug.

  • Start with a very small hole.
  • If you want the water to come out faster, make the hole bigger.
  • Remember to take the cap off the milk jug.
  • If you want the stream to slow down, put the cap back on.

4 Comments on “Clever tip to make sure your plant gets enough water at the roots

  1. I do the same thing for new shrubs and trees that are out of reach of my soaker hoses. I use a 5 gallon bucket with 3 small holes on one side. I extend my hose out as close to the tree as possible so I don’t have to carry the bucket as far. I do it twice a week during the dry periods moving the bucket to different sides of the tree or shrub each time.

  2. What a great idea Kat… and it uses the plastic containers before they end in the recycling bin.🤗 I’ve done something similar to attract birds to bird baths since they’re attracted to moving water.

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