Curled Leaves On Citrus Plant: What To Do For Curling Citrus Leaves

citrus-leafminer-leaf-curling-358x600

Citrus plants are bright, fun additions to the patio or landscape (and even indoors), providing a gardener with a steady supply of sweet and tart fruits with little regular care. As far as fruit trees go, citrus tend to be the low-fuss member of the team; but when curling citrus leaves appear, you’ll need to intervene. Curled leaves on citrus plants may indicate a significant pest problem or can point to an environmental issue.

What Causes Citrus Leaf Curl?

Citrus leaf curl is caused by many different things, making positive identification of your problem important before you can determine how to treat leaf curling on citrus. Below are the most common causes of curling citrus, along with ways to manage them.

Pests

Sap-sucking pests like aphids, mites and psyllids feed on citrus leaves by extracting the juices directly from transport tissues. As populations grow, they can cause deformations including curling and cupping in leaves, as well as discoloration. When you notice your citrus leaves are curling, check their undersides carefully for tiny pests feeding in clusters. If you spot them, spray your citrus tree with insecticidal soap or neem oil, making sure to coat areas where pests were spotted. Repeat this treatment weekly until your citrus plant begins to recover and all signs of insects are gone.

Citrus leaf miners are another insect pest of citrus, but instead of sucking on leaf juices, the moth larvae tunnel through leaf tissues as they grow. These tunnels are highly visible on leaf surfaces, appearing as undulating white or yellow lines on the green leaf surfaces. Citrus leaf miners are difficult to treat successfully; it’s generally recommended that you allow them to run their course since most citrus trees can tolerate a significant leaf miner load.

Environmental issues

Drought stress is the most common cause of leaf curl in citrus, but also the easiest to remedy. If leaves begin to curl inward while retaining their green coloration and the soil around your tree feels dry to the touch, you’re not watering enough. Stepping up watering efforts and applying 2 to 4 inches of an organic mulch to the ground around your citrus plant will help it recover. Wait to fertilize until the tree resumes normal, healthy leaf production. Potassium deficiencies show up in citrus as leaves with a yellow cast that are bent downward at the tip. Check the soil pH and nutrient levels before fertilizing these trees to ensure there aren’t bigger problems. If everything checks out, supplement with an extra dose of fertilizer and monitor your tree for improvement. Make sure to provide the tree with enough water to move potassium throughout its system.

http://www.nanthinifarms.com

 

Advertisements

Vegetable Pest and Disease Control & Prevention Part 1

The aim of any organic gardener is to create a healthy garden by making the soil fertile and by increasing biodiversity.

The most important task is to prevent an occurrence of pests and diseases in the first place rather than having to react to them.  In fact, once a pest or disease establishes itself on your crops there is often very little you can do to control it effectively.   Protecting your plants from pests and diseases begins long before the crops are sown or planted in your garden.

What keeps your plants healthy? 

Soil fertility –

A healthy soil produces healthy plants.  The care of your soil is the most important duty of every gardener.  It is the most effective method of preventing a pest or disease outbreak.  The ideal soil is a loose, moist humus rich soil full of worm and other soil life with a balanced nutrient content, including all the trace elements.  It may take a good few years to achieve this, but even the poorest soil can be made very fertile using organic methods.

Biodiversity-

A garden with good biodiversity is a lot less prone to sudden  attacks of pests and diseases as there is a balance of pests and predators. To increase the biodiversity in your garden is probably one of the most rewarding pleasures in gardening as you have the opportunity to create habitats and homes for many living creatures that have been pushed to the edge either through the  destruction of their habitats or chemical poisoning.

Beneficial habitats include: – Pond  – Log or branch pile – Dry stone wall or stone pile – Native hedgerow and include fruiting shrubs  – Native trees – Clump of nettles in the corner of your garden – Wildflower patch

Apart from creating specialist habitats you can also increase the biodiversity within your vegetable patch through:

– Crop rotations – where pests and diseases are eliminated by prolonged periods without their hosts.

– Polycultures by growing different crops next to each other (inter-cropping) or   undersowing with a green manure crop (under-cropping).

– Variety mixtures- by growing different varieties of the same vegetable in a plot.  This   technique has been very   successful with potatoes and lettuce and there is a lot of  scope for further experiments.

Hygiene

Hygiene in and around the vegetable garden is very important for pest and disease control.  This includes weed control and the removal of damaged or diseased leaves or plants from the garden.  If your vegetable garden is messy it is much easier for pests and diseases to spread much faster. Your wildlife areas should be positioned a fair distance away from your plot as the beneficial creatures usually travel further and faster than the pests.

Good seeds

You should always start with good and clean seeds.  They should always be stored in a cool, dry place and not for too many years.  I usually keep seeds for only two years and then buy new ones.  New seeds are a lot more vigorous.

Healthy transplants

The same applies to transplants.  It is very rare that all transplants in a tray are of the same quality and you should only plant the best.  There is no point of starting a plant hospital.

Right plant, right place

Plants that are not suited to your climate and soil conditions will never thrive and therefore will be the first ones to be attacked by pests and diseases.  In Ireland you can’t grow good cucumbers or tomatoes outside.  Some may survive and you may even get a few ripe tomatoes on it if you grow them on a south-facing wall in a sheltered garden somewhere in the south or east of the country.   However, the same plant may produce a hundred fruits if grown in a polytunnel.

Resistant varieties

If you find that every year your parsnips get canker and your potatoes blight you should consider using a variety that is  resistant or tolerant to the relevant pest or disease. Examples: Potato: Bionica, Sarpo Mira, Orla and Setanta are very resistant to blight Pea: Hurst Greenshaft is very  resistant to mildew Parsnip: Javelin F1 have some resistance to canker.

Timing of sowing

You can sometimes avoid outbreaks of pests and diseases by adjusting your sowing or planting dates.  The best example is to sow your carrots in late May or early June.  This avoids the first generation of carrot rootfly in May.  Another example is to sow your peas only in mid April to avoid foot rot disease.

Breaking the cycle

You could have brassicas (cabbage family) growing in your garden all year round.  This makes it very easy for all pests and diseases to survive and re-infect new crops.  I always clear my cabbage patch in mid January and only plant the first brassicas again in early May.  I’ll never get nice spring cabbage but at least I hope to get fewer problems.

Adjusting the spacing

If plants are spaced too closely they are a lot more susceptible to fungal diseases such as grey mould or mildew.  If you want to lessen any potential problem you can always space your crops a little bit further apart.  This increases the airflow through the crop and reduces the incidence of fungal diseases that thrive in more humid conditions.

Proper sowing and planting

Good care should be taken when sowing seeds and planting vegetables.  The better they start off the more likely they will do well.

Managing pests and disease

Whilst many pest and disease problems can be prevented, there are various occasions where pest or disease numbers increase to such high numbers that they can cause serious damage to your crops. It is crucial to properly identify the culprits.  It happens often that an innocent bystander who happens to be at the scene is accused of the act.  It may have been the one who has just eaten the culprit.

http://www.nanthinifarms.com

A Homemade Anti-Fungal Spray

IMG 2632 1024x768 A Homemade Anti Fungal Spray

I have an amazing espalier rosebush in my backyard this year that is setting records with the sheer amount of blooms on it.  Unfortunately it’s also suddenly covered in black spot fungus, and needs some major help right now.

Black spot is caused by a fungal infestation that occurs in wet locations, or humid places.  It can be triggered by late evening watering, or misting sprinklers, and it spreads rapidly on roses if it’s not caught right away and pruned out.  For bushes with major black spot problems a store-bought anti-fungal spray, or an application of horticultural oil can work adequately, but for the DIYers like myself, a home remedy will fix the problem and save you the gas and pocket money.

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Water
  • Liquid Dish soap
  • One 25-32 oz. spray bottle (reuse a windex bottle, or purchase a commercial equivalent)

Recipe:

Combine 1/2 a teaspoon of dish soap with 1/2 a teaspoon of vegetable oil in your spray bottle, and fill completely with water, leaving only enough room for the straw and cap to screw on without overflow.  Lightly shake, and then liberally spray this anti-fungal spray all over your roses, leaves, blooms and all.

For the next three weeks apply this recipe to your roses, and you should see results quickly.  For added benefit, if you wash your dishes by hand in the sink you should transfer the soapy sink water to a pail or watering can, and use that water to hydrate the base of your rose bushes.  Gentle soapy water can temporarily kill any fungus living in the mulch, or the soil at the base of the plant, and prevent the fungus from attacking your roses again in the near future.

Potato Leafhopper on Vegetables

Potato Leaf Hopper

The potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae , is a pest that is easy to overlook until the damage – called “hopperburn” – “burns” you. Due to it’s feeding habits, it can cause damage that is out of proportion to it’s density. Most problems in vegetables show up in snap beans or potatoes, but it is capable of successful reproduction on over 200 plants species in 25 different families, including alfalfa, potatoes, beans, peanuts, and woody ornamentals. Potato leafhopper is a transient pest of apples, grapes, celery, rhubarb, and clover to name a few. Densities are typically highest in alfalfa.

The potato leafhopper overwinters to the south of us. Migrant source populations develop in the Gulf States in early spring, where they overwinter on legume host plants, but may also be found on a variety of native, evergreen plants. It has been tentatively demonstrated that the potato leafhopper feeds on loblolly pine, and the leafhopper’s overwintering area spans the entire southern pine region and may extend into coastal areas where evergreen hosts are available.

Most overwintering females are mated and in reproductive diapause (their reproduction is delayed). These migrants arrive in Pennsylvania during the spring and early summer and they move northward, recolonizing its entire range from its overwintering source. The summer range spans most of the temperate latitudes east of 100° longitude. Some authors have suggested a “pied-piper” hypothesis for the broad patterns of northward expansion of many pest species, where agricultural activities have provided temporarily suitable habitats for many highly mobile species that are geographically far from suitable overwintering locations. The possibility of some return flow to the south, along with some adult diapause, is currently an open research question.

Click on image for larger version of potato leafhopper damage on potato plants.Click on image for larger image of potato leafhopper damage to potato plant.

 

The sex ratios of our populations shift during the season. The long-distance migrants are predominantly female. A sex ratio of 25 females to 1 male was recorded entering an alfalfa field in May in Pennsylvania. All females were gravid and able to initiate a new generation. The sex ratio changed to approximately 3:1 on second harvest and 1:1 on third harvest. The sex ratio of eggs is 1:1 and adult populations maintain stable 1:1 sex ratios by midseason and thereafter.

Potato leafhopper develops 3 to 4 generations during its residence in its summer range. One important factor that regulates populations is alfalfa harvest. Harvest destroys eggs and nymphs, and sends adults flying. Recolonization of alfalfa regrowth and vegetable crops occurs by invasion of adults from those populations adjacent to alfalfa fields or neighboring alfalfa fields on adjacent farms.

Eggs are deposited within the plant. Most are in the upper more succulent tissue. On alfalfa, eggs are laid in the top 17 cm or upper one fourth of the plant. In potatoes, eggs are laid more frequently in the terminal leaflets and on leaves between apical and basal leaves. Egg-laying activity is maximum during the dark hours. Very little egg-laying occurs below 18.3° C. Females lay about 2 to 4 eggs per day, and somewhere between 30 and 200 eggs per female over a female’s lifetime. In the lab, a female lives about 100 to 120 days.

Egg-hatch occurs in 9 1/2 to 11 days at 75° F. After hatching, nymphs undergo five instars. The newly emerged nymph is nearly colorless with red spots that quickly fade. A yellow color soon appears, changing to pale green in the third instar. The time of development varies greatly with temperature, but average duration of each of the 1st through 5th instars respectively are: 2.6, 2.3, 2.3, 2.5, and 4.7 days. Mating occurs within 48 h of adult emergence with females beginning to lay eggs in three days. The average reproductive life was 30-35 days for females and 33 days for males.

Leafhopper feeding results in symptoms called “hopperburn”. The adults use the lacerate-and-flush style of probing in and around vascular tissue. Potato leafhoppers move its stylets steadly through cells, secreting full salivary sheaths only rarely. This lacerate-and-flush feeding style results in disorganization of vascular bundles, enlargement and proliferation of cells, collapse of phloem fibers, and eventual collapse of phloem sieve elements. It seems likely that both introduction of saliva from the leafhopper and mechanical wounding by stylet movememt is necessary to cause the injury, which is a saliva-enhanced wound response associated with vascular blockage. The net result blockage of phloem transport. Gross symptoms of hopperburn probably result from this phloem blockage and subsequent accumulation of photoassimilates in leaves. This interacts with other stresses, such as drought.

Hopperburn shows up as a browning and necrosis along the margins of potatoes. Damage varies with cultivar. In beans, it can cause a curling of the leaves, stunting, reduced root systems, and reduced yields and quality. Greatest damage comes from feeding on young plants. In alfalfa, it causes a distinctive V-shaped yellow wedge, typically first in the terminal leaflets. However, hopperburn symptoms result from the plant’s response to the feeding. Therefore, responding to the damage by spraying is not the best option. It does help, because new leaves will be free of injury. But the best management is to scout for leafhoppers. It is easy to do with a sweep net, or by closely examining the undersides of leaves. Both adults and nymphs will include a characteristic “sideways” walking pattern as part of their movement. Adults also have a characteristic deep lime-green color. Scouting and spraying when thresholds are exceeded is the best management. In some states, the early season influx is monitored simply by regional reporting of the scouting data from alfalfa.

http://www.nanthinifarms.com                                                            nanthinifarms@gmail.com

16 Way to Use Companion Planting to Control Pests Naturally

Organic pest control! Great ideas on how to use companion planting to control pests naturally in the garden!

Companion planting is a way of planting in which you inter-plant different varieties of plants to enhance growth or aid in pest control. Companion planting is based on years of  experience passed down through the generations and some scientific studies

Over all, companion planting is simply about plants helping each other- to grow better, to fend off pest and to taste better. Some plants do better when planted with a certain type of neighbor, and some should not be placed in close proximity to each other. How can companion planting help you fight your garden pests? Here’s a list of 16 ways to get the most out of your companion planting pest control.

16 Ways to Use Companion Planting to Control Pests

1. If your beans are struggling with Mexican Bean Larvae, try mixing in some marigold plants in your rows. Marigolds can help with a number of pests including cabbage worms and aphids. Sprinkle them throughout your garden!

2. Interplant celery with your cauliflower to help repel the white cabbage butterfly.

 3. Planting cucumber with your corn is mutually beneficial. The cucumber plants will help keep the racoons off of your corn, while the corn will help reduce wilt in your cucumbers.

4. Plant radishes in your cucumber hills- just a couple- and leave them there all season. This will help protect your cucumbers against cucumber beetles. This also works with squash and melons that are attacked by the striped cucumber beetle.

5. Growing beans among your eggplant will help repel the Colorado potato beetle.

6. Mix parsley into your carrot rows to help repel the carrot fly.

companion planting nasturtium with squash

7. Grow nasturtiums with your squash to help keep that dreaded squash bug away.

8. Put tomato plants in your asparagus bed after the early spears have be harvested to keep the asparagus beetles away. Plant the tomatoes on the side of the bed, leaving the asparagus intact- don’t cut it!

9. Garlic planted with your tomatoes can help with red spider mites.

10. Grow your basil alongside your tomato rows for insect control as well as flavor enhancement.

11. Oregano can be planted with broccoli to help repel the cabbage butterfly.

12. Sage is also helpful to all brassicas by protecting them from the white cabbage butterfly. It is also helpful to carrots since it protects them from the carrot fly.

13. Thyme deters the cabbage worm, so it is good placed in your rows of cabbage, broccoli, kale, and other brassicas.

14. Wormwood is a repellent for a number of pests such as moths, flea beetles and cabbage moth butterfly. But it is best as a border plant since most plants do not like growing near it. On another note, wormwood is also great for natural pest control in your livestock. We feed it to our non-pregnant goats and our chickens for a natural way to fight intestinal worms.

15. Alternate rows of bush beans and rows of potatoes for a mutual relationship. Potatoes protect the beans from the Mexican bean beetles while the beans help keep away the Colorado potato beetle.

16. Add calendula to your tomatoes and asparagus (see #8) to deter tomato hornworm and asparagus beetles.

http://www.nanthinifarms.com                                                nanthinifarms@gmail.com

nanthinifarmstn@gmail.com

 

Aphids How to Identify and Get Rid of Aphids

What are those white bugs on your plants? They’re probably aphids! Here are our best tips on how to identify and control aphids in the garden.

What Are Aphids?

Aphids seem to find their way into every garden. They are small, soft-bodied insects that can survive in almost any zone. Aphids multiply quickly, so try to control them before reproduction starts. Many generations can occur in one season. The good news is that they tend to move rather slowly and aphid control is relatively easy.

Identification

Identifying Aphids

Aphids are tiny (under ¼-inch), and often invisible to the naked eye. Various species can appear white, black, brown, gray, yellow, light green, or even pink! Some may have a waxy or woolly coating. They have pear-shaped bodies with long antennae; the nymphs look similar to adults. Most species have two short tubes (called cornicles) projecting from their hind end.
Adults are usually wingless, but most species can develop a winged form when populations become crowded, so that when food quality suffers, the insects can travel to other plants, reproduce, and start a new colony. Aphids usually feed in large groups, although you might occasionally see them singly or in small numbers.
While aphids in general feed on a wide variety of plants, different species of aphids can be specific to certain plants. For example, some species include bean aphids, cabbage aphids, potato aphids, green peach aphids, melon aphids, and woolly apple aphids.

Aphid Damage
Nymphs and adults feed on plant juices, attacking leaves, stems, buds, flowers, fruit, and/or roots, depending on species. Most aphids especially like succulent or new growth. Some, such as the green peach aphid, feed on a variety of plants, while others, such as the rosy apple aphid, focus on one or just a few plant hosts.

Look for misshapen, curling, stunted, or yellow leaves. Be sure to check the undersides of leaves, aphids love to hide there.

If the leaves or stems are covered with a sticky substance, that is a sign that aphids may have been sipping sap. The honeydew, a sugary liquid produced by the insects as waste, can attract other insects, such as ants, which gather the substance for food. When aphids feed on trees, their honeydew can drop onto cars, outdoor furniture, driveways, etc.

The honeydew can sometimes develop a fungal growth called sooty mold, causing branches and leaves to appear black.

Flowers or fruit can become distorted or deformed due to feeding aphids.
Some aphid species cause galls to form on roots or leaves

.
Aphids may transmit viruses to certain plants, and also attract other insects that prey on them, such as ladybugs.

Control and Prevention

How to Get Rid of Aphids

Try spraying cold water on the leaves; sometimes all aphids need is a cool blast to dislodge them.
If you have an aphid invasion, dust plants with flour. It constipates the pests. 
Use commercially available biological aphid controls or by spraying with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.
You can often get rid of aphids by wiping or spraying the leaves of the plant with a mild solution of water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent.
Stir together 1 quart of water, 1 tsp of liquid dish soap, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Do not dilute before spraying on plants.
Organic controls include soapy emulsion, horticultural oil (read the directions), and pyrethrum spray. Soapy water should be reapplied every 2-3 days for 2 weeks.
Use homemade garlic or tomato-leaf sprays.

How to Prevent Aphids

For fruit or shade trees, spray dormant oil to kill overwintering eggs.
You can purchase beneficial insects, such as lady beetles, lacewings, and parasitic wasps, which will feed on aphids. These are usually ordered via mail—check the Internet for labs. They should keep the aphid populations controlled in the first place.
You can also plant flowering groundcovers in home orchards to attract predators.

Companion planting can be very helpful to keep aphids away from your plants in the first place. For example:
Aphids are repelled by catnip.
Aphids are especially attracted to mustard and nasturtium. You can plant these near more valuable plants as traps for the aphids. 
Nasturtiums spoil the taste of fruit tree sap for aphids and will help keep aphids off broccoli.
Garlic and chives repel aphids when planted near lettuce, peas, or rose bushes. 

Using Alcohol to Control Aphids

Isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) works fine and is easy to find, but be sure it doesn’t have additives. Ethanol (grain alcohol) seems to work best. Alcohol usually comes in 70 percent strength in stores (or 95 percent strength purchased commercially). To make an insecticidal spray, mix equal parts 70 percent alcohol and water (or, if using 95 percent alcohol, mix 1 part alcohol to 1 ½ parts water). 
You can also add alcohol to a soapy emulsion to make it more effective. For example, in a spray bottle, combine 5 cups water, 2 cups alcohol, and 1 tablespoon liquid soap.

Caution: When applying an alcohol or soap spray, or a combination, always test a small area first, and apply in morning or evening, when the sun is not beating down. Watch the plant for a few days for any adverse reactions before applying more. Plants can be sensitive to alcohol and soap. Also, some soaps have additives that can damage plants—select the purest form.

http://www.nanthinifarms.com                                     nanthinifarms@gmail.com

nanthinifarmstn@gmail.com

 

 

 

5 CLEVER GARDENING HACKS


Gardening Tip #1: Insulate tomatoes with plastic wrap

   Tomatoes thrive in stagnant, hot weather. Unfortunately, our weather here is neither. It’s a cool and windy 68 degrees year-round, so it takes extra effort to make warm weather plants produce fruit.

Wrapping the bottom two rungs of the tomato cage with plastic wrap simulates a greenhouse. The heat is trapped inside the plastic wrap and the plants are blocked from the wind. By the time the plants reach the top of the plastic wrap, they’re strong plants and well adjusted to the temperatures and wind!

How To Do It:

       Have a small helper hold the end of the plastic wrap onto a vertical stake with two hands. Wrap the plastic wrap around one full time, and then continue wrapping around as you work your way down or up the cage (we started at the top and worked down). Be sure to wrap at least two layers to get the full effect and make the plastic wrap stick to itself. I used the plastic wrap I had in the kitchen, but you might want to consider a 20″ heavy duty plastic wrap if you have several plants to wrap.

Gardening Tip #2: Insulate smaller plants with milk jugs

It’s the same concept as the tomatoes, but we’re using it on bell peppers in our $15 raised garden bed. Bell peppers also need warmer weather, but we’re hoping that insulating them with the milk jugs gives them a fighting chance through our cooler springs so maybe, just maybe, they might bear fruit come summer!

How To Do It:  

       Using a pair of scissors, cut off the top and bottom of a used milk jug. Rinse it out well and place it over/around the plant. Be sure to pack a little bit of dirt against the outside edges of the milk jug so that it doesn’t easily knock over when the wind blows.

Gardening Tip #3: Catch pincher bugs with oil

Also known as earwigs, pincher bugs like to eat the leaves of the plants. Specifically, they’re eating our zucchini plants. They are hungry, vicious little bugs and you have to act fast if you want your plants to survive (trust me, I’ve already lost one!).

We tried the newspaper trick, where you roll up newspaper, get it slightly damp and place it in the garden bed. Then bright and early the next morning you remove the newspaper and dispose of the bugs. Apparently “bright and early” is much earlier than we wake up, so there wasn’t ever any bugs inside.

Then we tried to lure them and drown them with oil. And it totally worked! Our three remaining zucchini plants are doing much better and now stand a chance to meet the goal of one zucchini for the year!

How To Do It:

     You’ll need an old plastic container with a lid (think yogurt, sour cream or cottage cheese). Using a pair of scissors, cut a oval-shaped hole about 1″ from the top of the container. Repeat this so that there are 4-5 holes in the container. Bury the container in the garden so that the holes are ground level. Fill the container with 3 parts cheap cooking oil to 1 part soy sauce. The bugs will be lured in by the soy sauce and will drown and get stuck in oil. (To help gauge, we used about 3/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup soy sauce for a 32 oz yogurt container.)

Gardening Tip #4: Deter other bugs with cayenne pepper spray

While the homemade earwig traps are working well, there are still some bugs in the garden that are chomping on leaves (ants?). While the damage isn’t too bad, we’re taking precautionary measures and keeping them away with sticky cayenne pepper spray!

How To Do It:

 Combine 1 tsp of cayenne pepper with 1 cup of hot water. Stir to dissolve the cayenne as much as possible. Pour into a spray bottle and add about 1 tsp of liquid dish soap. Fill the bottle with water and swish gently to combine (don’t shake otherwise you’ll just make a lot of bubbles). Spray directly onto the leaves of the affected plants. Reapply every 2-3 days, or after watering, or as needed. I recommend getting durable spray bottles that you dedicate just for the garden and keep outside so they’re there when you need them. Otherwise it can be a pain walking back and forth from the garden to the house / garage / shed every time you see a bug.

Gardening Tip #5: Deep water tomato plants with a broomstick handle

    Plants need water down at the roots, and watering at the surface level is fine for most of the time, but tomato plants especially benefit from a really good, deep water every few weeks or so. I didn’t have the forethought to install a plastic 2L bottle when I planted the tomatoes (nor did I have a 2L bottle!), so I came up with my own method for getting down deep into the roots.
How To Do It:  

    Taking the handle of a broom, align it with the edge of the container and plunge it all the way to the bottom. Move the handle in a circular motion until you have a hole that is just a bit bigger than the broom handle. Remove the broom and repeat to make 4-6 holes in the dirt, depending on the size of your pot. Water directly into the hole until the plant is saturated!

Gardening Tip #6 (BONUS!):

      Fertilize the tomatoes while you’re deep watering
While you’re making deep holes near your tomato plants, go ahead and take advantage by adding a liquid fertilizer to the roots. I make a fertilizer tea for free otherwise I recommend an organic liquid fertilizer.

http://www.nanthinifarms.com                                            nanthinifarms@gmail.com