How to Install PVC Pipe Down to Roots for Feeding & Watering

Answer

Deep watering plants not only supplies them with the necessary moisture but also encourages the development of strong roots. This allows the plant to more easily absorb nutrients via its tissues. On the other hand, often light watering encourages the roots to grow upward in search of water, which weakens the support systems that are present in the plant. The ability to successfully provide water to the root zone of your plants is essential to their growth, yet doing so is not always as simple as it may first seem. If you use a garden hose to water your plants, some of the moisture in the soil will be lost through evaporation, and some of it will be blown away by the wind. The South Dakota State University Extension asserts that vertical irrigation delivers water directly to the roots of the plants, which is where the plants have the most need for it.

  1. To the desired length, cut a section of pipe from the PVC pipe. The plants will determine the required length of the pipe in this case. The South Dakota State University Extension recommends cutting a piece of pipe that is between 12 and 18 inches long for growing big vegetable plants like tomatoes.

  2. Screen should be adhered to the top of the pipe before it is glued in place. This prevents debris, animals, or other unwanted items from entering the pipe. If the screen’s look is not important to you, you may bend it so that it fits the end of the pipe and fix it with duct tape.

  3. Dig a hole that is as deep as the root zone of your plants, which should be between 6 and 10 inches deep, and place the hole around the base of the plant. If at all possible, do this at the same time that you plant the seedlings to avoid causing damage to the roots at a later time. You are free to dig close to mature plants, but you should take care not to damage their roots.

  4. Put the PVC pipe down into the ground here. The top of the pipe should lie just above the soil line, while the bottom should rest at the root level of your plants.

  5. Pack the earth down tightly around the pipe once it has been filled in with soil.

  6. Fill the pipe with water and use it to water your plants. This directs the flow of water to the underlying root system.

    Things You Will Need

    • PVC pipe, 1 1/2- to 2-inch diameter

    • Pipe cutter or saw

    • Garden screen, 4 by 4 inches

    • PVC glue

    • Duct tape (optional)

    • Shovel

    Tip

    You have the option to drill holes along the pipe that are 1/16 of an inch in diameter, but doing so is not required, and the holes may get clogged with dirt. Instead of fastening screen to the top of the pipe, insert a bottle of water that is turned upside down into the opening of the pipe. When needed, refill the container.

    Warning

    Small creatures might be in danger if open PVC pipes are left unattended.