To conserve water and direct it to plants’ roots, find some 2-inch-diameter plastic pipe and cut it into 3-foot lengths. With a narrow blade, cut several half-inch slots along 6 inches of one end of each length of pipe.
For each plant, dig a hole 12 to 18 inches deep. Place the pipe in the hole with the “holey” end at the bottom and the other end above the surface. Add your customary amendments to the dug-out soil and refill the hole to planting depth.
Set your tomato plants deep in the soil above the pipe, gently backfill and mulch. When it’s time to water, simply pour water or manure tea down the pipe, straight to the root zone. This trick works well for tomatoes, and you can adapt it for peppers, eggplant and more.