How to Irrigate Vegetables With Plastic Watering Cans


A watering can is a container and spout used for holding and distributing water. Most watering cans are manufactured with a handle that is located in the top and sides of the container to make the water easier to transport and pour without spilling. Some watering cans also come with a mesh screen over the spout to break up the pressure caused by the stream of water as it pours and to avoid damaging the plants being watered. Though metal watering cans are traditionally used in home gardens, plastic cans are a popular choice for home gardeners.

Step 1

Fill a plastic watering can with cool water. Warm water will damage the roots of plants when used in watering. Do not overfill the container. Filling a container too deeply may cause water to slosh from the spout as you move the container.

Step 2

Add a balanced, liquid fertilizer (10-10-10) to the water in your can according to the fertilizer package directions. Package directions will vary depending on the fertilizer brand. Many container plants do not receive adequate fertilizer from their container soil. A liquid fertilizer will boost plant health and production.

Step 3

Carry the plastic watering can by the handle portion located over the open top of the container to avoid spilling the contents.

Step 4

Hold the spout of the plastic watering can near the soil of the plant to avoid spilling or damaging the plant. Avoid pouring water directly onto your plant to avoid spilling water or damaging the plant due to water pressure from the spout of the watering can.

Step 5

Tilt the plastic watering can onto its side so that the spout is vertical in relation to the plant's pot. Only tip the watering can enough to pour a gentle, steady stream of water. The more you tip the watering can, the faster the water will pour.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic watering can
  • Balanced, liquid fertilizer (10-10-10)


  • Washington State University Extension: Watering Home Gardens and Landscape Plants
  • NC State University Extension: Container Vegetable Gardening
  • EPA: Watering Can Be Efficient!

Who Can Help

  • Journey to Forever: Watering Can Plans
Keywords: watering container plants, watering can, tools for watering

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."