Gardening : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Just thought of a tip for the upcoming gardening time and all these plastic bottles we have...

Every summer we go through a dry and hot spell. If you will take a very small nail and punch one small hole in the top of a plastic bottle. (fill with water and put lid back on) Then poke a very small hole in the bottom of the bottle filled with water and place two or three of these around the base of your plants the water soakes in the ground, and does not run off.

Also around plants like tomatoes build up a bowl edge around the plant about 10" from plant to place these bottles inside of. it will also help hold rain water near the plants.

One last tip: place a ring of foil around the base of tomato and pepper plants (not too tight..) this will keep cutworms from eating the plant off at the base.

I am also going to cut tops off of bottles and use as pots to start tomato, pepper, squash, and cuke plants in, so I can get an early start indoors.

Looking forward to gardening :>


-- Beth (, February 06, 2000


Thanks, Beth for the great gardening tips!

-- Glenn (, February 06, 2000.

Any kind of container placed around the base of the plant will go a long way to protecting the plants from all kinds of nastys like cut worms, squash borers, etc. I buy those lovey plastic drinking cups that come 20 for 1$ at the market. Usually they are red or blue. Cut the bottom off and "screw" it into the ground around your newly planted bedding plant. It also makes a good watering hole for the new plants until they get to big to get to it. If you are into being frugal, these can be used again and again. There are few, if any, veggies that will have a trunk on them that exceeds the diameter of these cups. I also cut the bottoms of the gal milk jugs out and put over plants, with the lids on the jugs, if I am afraid of frost. Thse too get used over and over. When not in use run a string through their handles and toss over the rafter in the garage/barn.

-- Taz (, February 07, 2000.

Taz, Great idea with the cups....

Did you know that if you over furtilize potatoes that all you will get is great looking tops and no potatoes?

Also if you live somewhere like NC where the soil is mostly red clay if you turn the ground while it is wet all you get is bricks...LOL I know I learned this the hard way years ago.

Oh yeah if you have any last years hay that is discomposing, you can pile this up and plant potatoes in it. Be sure that the straw is old, and the potatoes are well inside so the sun does not touch them. This makes for easy digging just pull the hay away.


-- Beth (, February 07, 2000.

Another trick I've used for years to thwart cutworms is to cut drinking straws in half......stick one vertically, right up next to the root of each vegetable plant as you set it in the ground. The cutworm can't wrap itself around the plant, when you do that. I've never lost any plants due to cutworms, since I've done that. Cheap and easy.

-- Jo Ann (, February 08, 2000.

Just another tip for watering of tomatoes.

When you plant a tomato plant nip off a lot of the bottom stems, and plant the plant deep. I usually have my plants up about 18 inches in containers before they ever go into the garden. When I plant them they go at least a foot into the ground. Tomatoes will root off the stem, and the deeper they go the better they survive in dry weather.

Just dreaming about summer and gardens...:>)


-- Beth (, February 09, 2000.

For clay soil, use more sand in your soil. If you put sand in the soil it will become looser.

-- ET (, February 12, 2000.

Thanks for the tips on plastic jugs. I've a good supply from my preps. Its recommended to use sun-warmed water for young plants because cold water from a hose will shock them. Your idea will do just that. I set out five gallon buckets last year.

Last year was my first serious garden. I had six beds 4' x 25'. The narrow width enabled me to not walk in the beds after planting, keeping the dirt loose for air and water. I got a couple dozen used coffee cans with the ends cut out to put around my tomatoes and peppers for cutworm protection. Most of them stayed in place all season as the plants grew up through them. I also used gallon jugs with the bottoms cut out for shelter on cold spring nights.

My city has a yard with bins of free mulch, wood chips, and leaves. I mulched my garden with 4" - 6" of leaves. It kept the weeds out and the ground moist. I tilled it under for fertilizer in fall.

-- John (LITTMANNJ@AOL.COM), February 12, 2000.

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