Deep Drip watering stakes are a deeply rooted alternative to standard drip irrigation methods. These watering stakes allow users to deliver not only water but needed oxygen and nutrients directly to the root zone of your plants. Rather than covering the surface area surrounding your plants, these stakes prevent potential water and fertilizer waste by eliminating the chances of runoff or evaporation, which can save you money in the long run.
Why pick Deep Drip watering stakes for your application? Not only are these stakes made to deliver water, oxygen, and nutrients directly to the root zone of your plants, but they can prevent damage to buildings, sidewalks, and other structures by encouraging deep root formation. Uprooting is caused by roots growing toward the surface to get water, which damages sidewalks and structures. This deep rooting encouragement can also help prevent uprooting of plants caused by storms and land erosion. The stake shaft is lined with honeycomb grated holes to prevent debris from clogging the stakes, saving you time by preventing as much maintenance as possible. By delivering water directly to your root zone, these watering stakes have been proven to conserve up to 50% of outdoor water use.
Not only are Deep Drip watering stakes manufactured to save you money, but also made to last! Constructed from ABS plastic, these stakes are manufactured to last for 15 or more years. The reinforced, ribbed, UV-protected cap acts as a protective cover when the stakes are being hammered down during installation. Except for the 8” stake, which requires a rubber mallet for installation, these stakes can withstand the force of a 3-5 pound sledgehammer hitting the cap 1,000 times! The manufacturer has gone as far as even driving over the cap to prove the sturdiness of the Deep Drip stake cap.
What stake should I use? Each Deep Drip stake length is recommended for a different type of plant being watered. Here’s an easy breakdown of the recommended stakes and their purposes:
*Keep in mind, Deep Drip stakes saturate about 12” past their physical length*
While there is a laundry list of positive attributes to these stakes, their installation and use are also by far one of the easiest methods available in the irrigation industry. Here’s a quick look at how to install and use Deep Drip watering stakes:
How do I determine the placement of my Deep Drip watering stakes? You’ll want to start by locating any gas or water lines before beginning your installation. You may need to contact a local professional to determine where these lines are located in your work area. If you hit a rock or object with the stake when installing, simply select a new area to install the stake.
For flowers, fruits, vegetables, & other small garden plants: Install one 8″ stake on any side of the plant.
For shallow root plants like shrubs, vines, potted plants, & small/ornamental trees: Install 2-3 14” stakes around the plant in a triangle or on either side, close to the plant’s base while still avoiding the root ball.
For medium trees, including existing or newly planted trees, fruit trees, and saplings: Install 2-3 24″ stakes outside the tree root ball (new trees) or tree canopy (existing trees), either using a stake on two sides of the trunk or 3 in a triangle.
The tree canopy is the area bordered by the farthest-reaching branches and leaves.
For large, established trees or palms: Install 36″ stakes 4-5 ft. apart within the tree’s canopy, avoiding the root ball. The larger the tree, the more stakes you will need.
How do I install my Deep Drip watering stakes? While the 8” stakes require a rubber mallet to hammer down the stake, you can use a 3-5 lb sledgehammer for all the others. You could also use a 1.25 auger drill bit to install the stakes, instead of hammering them down into the ground. If the area you’re installing the stakes in has hard soil, you will want to presoak the area before attempting to install your stakes.
Once you prep the ground in the area you will be installing your stakes, hammer directly on the dome of the cap installed on your stake, without tubing connected to the stake. You will want to leave the top of the cap exposed, as well as the top hole on the stake for proper aeration of your Deep Drip stake. The manufacturer also recommends using a surface emitter to water in combination with the drip stake for optimal watering, as this also aids with leaching salt out of the soil.
When using stakes for drip irrigation:
Once the stake is installed, remove the cap and run a length of ¼” tubing, with an emitter attached, down the shaft of the stake. Be sure to secure the ¼” tubing in the groove located in the sidewall of the cap by placing the cap down over the top of the stake and securing it in place. Most of our small button drippers are compatible with the Deep Drip watering stakes. Large, odd shaped, and staked drippers are not recommended.
When using stakes for flood irrigation:
Install the stake in the ground, and build a berm around the tree you are watering to encourage water pooling around the tree. Remove the cap from the top of the stake and insert your hose inside the shaft of the stake, allowing the water to run for as long as you desire.
The manufacturer recommends contacting a local professional for recommendations on how long/how much to water your plants based on the plant type you are growing in your specific region.
What if I need to fertilize with my stakes? Fertilizer can be added directly to the shaft of the stake if not using a fertilizer injector. The amount of fertilizer used for your application will depend on the instructed amounts given by the fertilizer manufacturer. You will want to keep in mind that over fertilizing can harm the roots of the plant. The manufacturer recommends contacting a local professional for recommendations on fertilizers for your plant’s specific needs.
What if I have to remove or reposition a stake? To remove, insert a screwdriver in the top hole of the drip stake, turn to free the stake from any roots that may have grown and tangled within the stake. Pull the stake upward to remove it. To reposition the stake, remove it as previously mentioned, then reinstall the stake in the newly decided location.
What maintenance do Deep Drip watering stakes require? Virtually none! While it is recommended to twist the stakes every six months to prevent root intrusion, the honeycomb grated holes prevent clogging and reduce the need for cleaning unless mineral deposits are present. To clean your stakes, remove the stake as previously described, clean with a mineral solvent of your choice, rinse thoroughly, then place the stake in the ground once again.