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watering stakes - anyone have any experience using these?  RSS feed

 
Logan Therrion
Posts: 33
Location: Jacksonville Beach, FL Zone 8b/9a
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These seem like a really great thing. Getting water to the roots of the plants, right where they need them. And not wasting as much when watering using traditional methods.

However, I'm always skeptical so before I go test drive these myself I was hoping someone out there has used these so I can get the skinny first. I'm considering a product like this for my fledgling market garden: http://www.deepdrip.com/

I'm in a suburban setting, with about 50x60 garden area that is jam packed with raised beds and plants of all sorts. Below the raised beds are pit gardens (burried wood and such), and this year I added about 12-15" of excellent organic soil on all beds. I am currently watering by hand and I'd prefer to try to set up some automated watering if I can. Or at least be more efficient when watering. These *look* like a good deal because I can actually set these up to auto-water, if I have the right controller. All I'd need is a pump for my two, 275 gallon water tanks, some drip lines (I think) and off I go.

My problem is I'm wondering how well they really work. So far, no word back from the company on things like:
1) What is the watering radius of each stake if I have loamy, non-compacted, organic rich soil?
2) What controller is best to use with these kinds of stakes so that I do not over fill them and waste water?
3) How often do they have to be cleaned of debris and roots and such?
4) Who uses these? Maybe some testamonials, or a client list, or something. How do I know these are legit?

My preliminary search also hasn't seen a lot of folks using these so I am unaware of any other problems or hassles that may come along with something like this.

As a reminder, this will be used for veggie beds, not trees.

If you have any thoughts on the matter I'd be MOST grateful!
Thanks in advance everyone.


Logan

 
Rue Barbie
Posts: 70
Location: Coastal Southern California
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I did a search on YouTube for 'watering stakes' and there are a few videos - mostly what seemed like sales pitches and installing them. There might have been a testimonial or two, but since I didn't watch the videos, I'm not sure. There was one video about something homemade and similar. They seem to have been around a few years.
 
Tee Jay
Posts: 11
Location: Zone 6a
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Hey Logan, my input may not be what you're looking for but I will offer it up anyway, just in case. My experience with watering stakes is limited to trees and shrubs. I use the term "watering stakes" very loosely as my "stakes" were actually just 30" of 4" PVC pipe, buried vertically about a foot away from each of the new blue spruce trees and shrubs that we planted one summer many years ago. I used them because at that time the top 12-24" of earth in my property (below the top 4 inches of topsoil) was a horribly impenetrable clay and rain water would sit there for days - more likely to evaporate than to soak into the ground any deeper than the topsoil - leaving the ground soaked and unusable. Some years the lawn would actually drown from heavy rainfall. It is some terrible stuff. So when planting these trees and shrubs, we dug a large hole for each down below the 1 or 2 feet of earthen death - lol - and into some far softer soil. We placed a small amount of organic material at the bottom of the hole along with some pea gravel and the vertical pipe. Once the clay settled back down around the young plants, the surface water would not soak down past the crust and the ground would stay wet around the plant but not soak in. But because of the "stakes" I was able to fill the PVC pipe up to the top and it would slowly drain down over the course of about an hour. The plants we did this to are still thriving today, whereas the shrubs and trees that we did not try this on, the previous summer, are long since gone. So, in my experience, my homebrew water stakes were the gamechanger. These days, I only plant in raised beds for the most part anyway so I have no need for them. I know this probably doesn't help your situation but I thought I would throw it out there just in case. Let us know how you make out on yours though and best of luck with it.
 
Logan Therrion
Posts: 33
Location: Jacksonville Beach, FL Zone 8b/9a
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That's great info about the stakes! While yours are for trees and shrubs, it's important info nonetheless as you give a real life account of actually using them. I realize that depending on circumstances, one must improvise to make things work. I'm finding that with the additional mulch i've added on top of my beds, the lower parts seem to stay moist and it's just the top part I need to give a little water to for only the baby or new plants.

I'm trying to grow more mulch material for just this reason and after having added mulch and the fact that my plants are getting bigger, I'm finding less of a need for the stakes. That said however, it's good to know others have had success with them. And too, thank you for giving details on how you implemented them..

Great response, F.M. :) Thanks for the really great info.

Logan
 
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