Deep Drip® Product Installation
- Trees should have 2-3 stakes surrounding the base of the tree.
- If starting with 2 stakes, place on opposing sides of tree
- When using 3 stakes (recommended) place in a triangular pattern (fig. 1)
- Choose a spot free of underground lines and pipes
- For optimal watering of both shallow and deep roots, include a surface emitter to water in combination with Deep Drip®. In areas with higher soil saline content, this will also help reduce salt in the soil.
New Tree Installation: The stakes should be placed close to the base of the tree, without going into the root ball, before backfilling with soil. After your tree has been placed, insert 2-3 Deep Drip® stakes in the hole you are planting the tree in. The top of your Deep Drip® stake can either be above ground level (recommended for new trees) or below ground, depending on your preference.
Existing Tree Installation:
- Use 2-3 Deep Drip® stakes just inside the tree canopy of your existing tree. The tree canopy is where the branches and leaves of your tree extend to when seen from above. For best results use 3 stakes in a triangle.
- When adding more than 3 stakes (recommended only for more mature trees that need more water), place additional stakes 4-5 feet apart, within the tree’s canopy. Be careful as you get closer to the tree not to damage the root ball.
- You can manually hammer your Deep Drip® stakes into the ground, using a rubber mallet or 3-5 lb. sledgehammer. When hammering, keep the protective cap on the stake without the drip line connected. We recommend softening the soil with water first. You can also use a 1.25-inch auger bit to drill ahead of time for easy installation.
- Hit the cap of your stake directly on top, hitting the cap at an angle instead of the very top of the domed cap, may result in failure and/or cracking. Do not directly hammer the uncapped stake into the ground as this could break or destroy the shaft. Hammer Deep Drip® completely into the ground or leave the cap and top hole above the ground, whichever is preferable (fig. 2).
Installation with Drip Line, Garden Hose or Flood Irrigation
Drip Line: Once positioned in the ground, remove your stake’s cap and insert the end of your drip line with the emitter head attached, downwards into the stake (fig. 3). Line up the specially designed slot on your stake’s cap to directly on top of the exposed drip line (fig. 3). Lock the drip line in place by reconnecting the cap to the rest of the stake (fig. 3). With the cap re-installed, it will secure your drip line and stop excess debris from entering the shaft.
Garden Hose: To use the Deep Drip® with a hose, create a small berm or tree well around your tree. Watering this way will allow the water to saturate the shallow roots near the surface and flow down into the stakes to water the deeper roots. It also prevents runoff. Bury 2-3 Deep Drip® stakes equally spaced within the berm around the tree (fig. 4). We suggest that you keep the top hole above ground. Place the garden hose just inside the berm/tree well and turn the hose on. When the tree well starts to fill up, the water will flow into the top hole of the stakes and down to the roots of your tree/plant. If you are looking to use this method to soften the soil around for tree, the harder the ground, the slower and longer you will need to saturate the root zone.
- If placing a berm/tree well around your tree does not work for you, you could also remove the caps from the stakes then place a slow flowing hose on top of the open shaft and let the water flow down into the stake. You will need to be extremely careful if you decide to go this route, if you allow the water to enter the stake too quickly it will flood the root zone, lead to root rot, and kill the plant you are trying to save. That is why the berm method is our most recommended hose method.
Flood Irrigation: When using the Deep Drip® stakes with flood irrigation, we recommend that you bury 2-3 equally spaced stakes around the base of the tree leaving the cap on and the top hole exposed above the ground. Again, when burying the stakes be aware of your tree’s root ball and do not puncture it. When the flood irrigation starts to flow, the water will flow into the top hole of the stakes and down to the roots of your tree or plant, watering more deeply at the roots.
Watering, Fertilization & Nutrients
- Fertilization & Nutrients: Pour a small amount of liquid, powder or water-soluble granulated tree/plant fertilizer or nutrients directly into the shaft of your installed stake. Water will pass through and slowly dissolve nutrients, feeding your tree and plants at their roots. Using the recommended amount of fertilizer per package instructions, evenly disperse your chosen fertilizer among all the installed stakes per tree, for best coverage and to prevent burning the plant’s roots. Read the package instructions carefully and remember not to over fertilize.
- Watering and Fertilization: Ask your local nursery professional for specific recommendations on watering levels, emitters, and different types of fertilizer specific to your tree/plant’s needs.
Removal of Stakes, Root Intrusion & Re-positioning
- To Remove Stakes: Insert a rod or screwdriver through the top holes in the main shaft just below the cap of your stake. Slide the rod through the shaft, twist and pull up to remove the stake. (fig.5).
- To Reposition: Your Deep Drip® stakes were designed to be easily re positioned as your tree grows. Simply remove stakes (described above) and reposition them so that they sit just inside your tree’s canopy. At this time, you may choose to add additional stakes, if needed.
- Root Intrusion: At one time or another, you have probably seen roots come up to the surface in the lawn or even seen roots tear up a sidewalk or foundation. If there is a water source, it is likely that the roots will travel in the direction of the water. If you are concerned about root intrusion in your stakes, we suggest twisting your stakes once every six months (fig.5) to help guard against the roots entering your stakes.
- Cleaning Your Stakes: Should the tube/filter become clogged due to a buildup of mineral deposits, extract the stake (fig.5) and dip into a solution that dissolves calcium. Rinse with clean water and then re-insert into the ground. Remember, you will be re-installing these stakes back into the soil, so please make sure to thoroughly rinse all the solution out of the stake.
- Water Emitters & Watering Times: There are many different brands and types of drip line emitters on the market today, so we suggest asking your local nursery or irrigation professional for specific recommendations on watering levels and emitters. Your local nursery professional can help you select the appropriate emitters and watering times for your tree/plant varieties.
- If soil is too dense, pre-soak the area first and/or use a soil softener to soften the ground before inserting. Once the surface area is well saturated, try hammering the stake into the ground as far as it will go, leave the stake in the ground, take the cap off and run water from a garden hose directly into the stake to start softening up the soil from below. Once you feel the soil has been saturated with enough water, place the cap back on and repeat the process until you have driven the stake all the way in until just the top holes are sitting above the ground. You may need to repeat this process a few times, but it helps.
- If you hit a rock or a boulder, your Deep Drip® stake will need to be moved to a new location. Unfortunately, they will not go through a rock or a boulder.
- Although the Deep Drip® stakes were designed to be hammered into the ground, an easier option would be to drill a hole into the ground with a 1.25-inch auger bit to clear a pathway for the unit to be installed. Again, please, make sure you are aware of any underground lines or pipes and do not insert where they may exist
Thank you for purchasing your Deep Drip ® Watering Stakes. We want you to be completely happy with your purchase, so please let us know if we can help in any way.