If you use water teepees to get your tomatoes off to an early start, you have probably struggled with their tendency to fall over as you try to fill them. An old trick is to use a 5-gallon plastic bucket to make the process easier.
The bucket works much better if it is modified by removing the handle and drilling a hole (use a hole saw bit) in the bottom of the bucket. Place the bucket upside down over the plant you wish to protect and place the water teepee over the bucket.
Now the bucket will support the teepee as it is filled. Once the teepee is filled, the bucket can be removed by sticking your finger into the hole and pulling straight up. You may also want to support the teepee after it is filled by using a metal rod (rebar or an electric fence post) on the inside of the teepee. The metal rod is pushed into the soil to keep the teepee from collapsing from high winds. (Ward Upham)
Contributors: Ward Upham, Extension Associat; Megan Kennelly, Plant Pathologist
Horticulture & Natural Resources
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