Every summer I spend countless hours trying to get the tomato plants deep watered even though they're in raised beds. It's so hot and windy in the summers that even drip hoses aren't effective (unless I leave them on 24/7).
Actually, the Worm Tower inspired this idea of burying a perforated tube for deep watering. I remembered reading somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) that deep watering tomatoes makes for a stronger, healthier plant and, a bumper crop! But, truthfully? I'm looking for a time and water saver every bit as much!
My intention was to buy drain pipe (pvc with pre-drilled holes). It was much too expensive and too big around for what I had in mind. But, right next to the PVC was this perfed tubing and it was cheap ($5.50 for 10ft @ Home Depot). And, it was small enough to fit in the Pathfinder :)
I bought two 10ft lengths for $11.00. I cut twelve 16" pieces for two tomato beds (6 tubes for each bed). Less than $1 for each tube...and that makes me happy!
I used a chop saw to cut the tubing, worked great!
I had already planted my tomatoes so I had to be careful digging in the tubes but it was doable.
I have approximately 12" of good soil in my raised beds, then I hit clay and shale...I dug down to bottom, inserted the tube then pulled the soil back in and pressed it firmly around the tubing. If your beds are deeper than mine, you can cut your lengths a little longer.
I put one tube between each plant and one tube on each end of my rectangular bed.
In my digging around, I was happy to see lots of earthworms! To christen the Deep Water summer season and give the worms a special treat, I poured two pails of weak manure tea in each tube, followed by another dousing of plain ol water later that evening.
Warning! I've been advised by a master gardener that I might need bigger tomato cages when using this method. Hurray!!
Be sure to share your deep water tales...inquiring minds want to know!