A key element of our watering system, fed by our rainwater tanks, are the “water spikes” used in the beds themselves. I was sure we’d written about these when we first put them in, 3+ years ago, but I can’t find a post for them. So here it goes…
These spikes are traditionally used with grey water systems, as they have two pairs of drainage holes 10+ cms down (the regulation depth for grey water usage). According to our plumber, one spike feeds about a circle about 1m in diameter. To be on the safe side, we’ve got three for each raised bed. (We’ve also strategically used them throughout our new native garden at the back.)
The big advantage of this watering approach is that practically no water is lost to evaporation, as it all goes sub-surface. It also encourages plant roots to seek downwards, strengthening them again dry and hot days. It’s robust against blockages, as any sediment simply falls to the bottom of the water spike.
We had a whole bag of spikes supplied as part of our water tanks, already made up. But you can also make them yourselves, as follows:
- orange water spike (our plumber called it a ‘carrot’, for obvious reasons)
- 25mm end cap (standard item for 25mm polypipe watering systems)
- 3.5mm hole drilled in the top of the cap
- standard 4mm elbow inserted (heat the cap in hot water first, and use pliers)
This creates a ‘watering unit’, when then connects to standard 4mm polypipe (used for drip feeds, etc).
I’ve seen the ‘carrots’ available per piece in Bunnings, along with the other required bits. You can also get them in bulk at Reece.
Combined with a timer system and a network of 19mm polypipe, this is a great set-and-forget watering system for all our plants. We love it, and would recommend it to others.