Deep Drip® Installation
There are two ways to install the Deep Drip tree watering stakes. Either by inserting the units during new planting or by driving the unit into the ground (while wearing protective eye wear, of course) around an existing tree. The reinforced pointed tip and specially designed cap are engineered to take quite a beating.
During one test in extremely hard ground, our researchers used a 3-pound sledge hammer, pounding the device 484 times to get a 36″ unit into the ground. Obviously, this was very hard ground and most installations may only require a couple dozen hits, although we mention this to show you the strength and durability of our spikes.
Step 1: Designate a location for the Deep Drip tree root watering tool installation. Choose a spot free from underground lines and pipes; select the location that is just inside the outer edge of tree’s canopy. Newer trees are recommended to have 2-3 units on opposing sides or surrounding the tree base. Older, more established trees may need as many as 5-6 stakes to fill the circle around the tree (Fig. 1).
Step 2: During New Installation of Tree: After tree has been placed in the hole, insert 2-3 Deep Drip units vertically in the hole surrounding the tree before back-filling with soil. The top of Deep Drip can either be above ground level or below ground, depending on your preference.
Installation at Existing Tree: If you are installing Deep Drip at an existing tree where a hole no longer exists, then you will need to either dig a hole or drive Deep Drip into the ground manually. To drive into the ground using a sledge hammer, place slotted end cap on the open end of the shaft without the drip line inserted (Fig. 2). Always wear protective eye wear. Do not directly hammer the ‘uncapped’ end into the ground as this could break or destroy the shaft. A three-pound sledge hammer is recommended to drive the unit into the ground. Drive Deep Drip completely into the ground or leave the cap visible, whichever is preferable.
Troubleshooting: If soil is too dense, water the area around the tree and use a soil softener to soften the ground before inserting. Also recommend to insert stake or rod into the ground and remove to clear pathway for unit. Drilling into the ground using an auger bit is another way to clear pathway for unit. Again, make sure you are aware of any underground lines or pipes and do not insert where they may exist.
Step 3: When positioned in the ground, remove cap and insert end of existing drip line and emitter into the shaft aligning the drip line with the slot in the cap (Fig. 3a). Re-install cap to secure drip line and stop excess debris from entering shaft. We also recommend to place an emitter at the surface in addition to the Deep Drip units (as seen in the illustrations on the Home Page). This will ensure that the shallow roots will get the much needed water as well as the deeper roots.
Idea: Pour water-soluble or granulated tree fertilizer into shaft after positioning in ground. Water will pass through and slowly dissolve nutrients, feeding the tree at the roots.
When using the Deep Drip system with a hose, we recommend that you create a small berm around your tree to hold in the water and prevent run-off. Bury 2-3 Deep Drip stakes equally spaced within the berm around the tree (Fig. 3b). Remove the caps from the stakes; lay the slow flowing hose within the berm and the water will saturate the shallow roots near the surface and eventually flow down into the stakes to water the deeper roots. The harder the ground, the slower and longer the flow you will need to saturate the root zone.
Step 4: To Remove: Insert rod or standard screwdriver through the two holes in the main shaft just below the cap. Slide the rod through the shaft and pull up (Fig.4). Slightly twisting the shaft may be necessary for easier removal. Every six months it is recommended to rotate the spike 360 degrees while in the ground to keep the small roots from entering the shaft. Just insert a screwdriver or rod and twist.
Step 5: Watering and Fertilization: Ask your local lawn and garden professional for recommendations on watering levels, emitters, and different types of tree fertilizer, specific to your tree’s needs. We recommend fertilizers that are water soluble.