Saving Water Using Plant Watering Spikes
Can Using Plant Watering Spikes Save Water?
Let's talk about water usage when watering your garden with IFusion Watering Spikes and let's compare that to more traditional way of watering.
We'll be talking about watering a 3' x 4' raised bed garden.
Let's first suppose you are using a watering can to keep your plants watered. It is a 2 gallon watering can, it will take one full can to water the bed, and you'll water an average of every other day. This means you are using about 30 gallons of water per month with the watering can.
Let's now suppose you have a drip irrigation system with a 0.5 gallon per hour drip rate spaced 12 inches apart, so about 8 emitters in our 4' x 3' raised bed example. Lets then use a hypothetical schedule of 2 hours once per week to see that we use 8 gallons per week or 32 gallons per month.
Are these estimates accurate for how people should be watering? Most sites online that I have seen suggest watering to an equivalent rainfall of 1 inch per week. One inch of rain over one square foot is approximately 0.6 gallons, or 7.2 gallons per week for the 3' x 4' raised bed garden. That would equate to 29 gallons per month, which is consistent with the prior estimates.
So let's address IFusion Watering Spikes into consideration with some direct measurements.
These are two raised bed (coincidentally, 3' x 4') that used used 11 and 17 gallons over the first month and an additional 3 and 6 gallons over the second month.
One bed only had water delivered through the IFusion Watering Spike while the other delivered a solution of plant food* in water delivered through the spike.
What is clear after the first month is that there is significantly less water used to keep the plants alive ... and that I really needed to get some plant food to the water-only bed on the right. After the second month, even less water was used and the all plants are looking great. After four months of watering, the water usage was 16* and 29 gallons.
Yes, You Can Save Water Using Plant Watering Spikes
So here is your water usage comparison.
A regular watering schedule using conventional methods would use ~120 gallons of water over four months, where the IFusion Watering Spike used only a quarter of that or less over the same time period.
* Regarding the plant food.
It is clearly possible to feed your plants using the IFusion Watering Spike. However, the plant food I used that summer was MiracleGro which contains a hydrogel that was plugging the supply lines and probably settling on the inside of the spike as well. Despite the hydrogel issue, there did not seem to be any negative affect on the plants in that raised bed. This year I plan on using the water-soluble phosphate and nitrate components in a couple different trial concentrations.