Bottle Top Watering Spikes
Step By Step Video
Bottle top watering spikes drip water out of their spike to water plants. Depending on the make of bottle top waterers, they are compatible with most (but not all) brands of water bottles sold in our shops.
The main benefits of bottle top waterers are as follows:
It is possible to vary the speed that water drips out of the spike. On a slow drip setting, the spike will drip water over 1-5 days. Of course, it is possible to buy small or large water bottles, and use more than one bottle spike per plant or pot.
Effectiveness of watering
Compared to a hose or watering can, a watering spike can make the process of watering more efficient. When using a hose or watering can, water can easily run off away from the plants or down the sides of the pot. A watering spike releases its content more slowly, helping the soil remain moist and avoiding wasting water through run off.
Using less water
The efficiency of watering mentioned above has a second benefit. From my experience, I used less water compared to watering my container plants with a watering can.
Bottle top waterers are a cheap alternative compared to water irrigation systems, and can be useful to cover short holiday periods when you are unable to water your pots and containers.
Bottle top watering spikes are especially useful for water hungry plants such as courgettes and squashes, as well as heat loving plants that require careful watering like cucumbers and tomatoes.
How To Use Bottle Top Watering Spikes
Not all bottle top watering spikes will be exactly the same design, but the elements should be similar. In the spike shown above, the water drips out of the holes in the spike. The large ridged circular connector shown on the far right is effectively a replacement cap for a water bottle.
The picture above shows how the rate of water flow can be regulated. By turning the screw (or tap) on the left hand side, it is possible to change the amount of water that can flow from the bottle into the water spike.
When fully opened, it is possible for the water to flow through the spike in about 20-30 minutes. Alternatively, when almost closed to a slow drip, the spike can give water over a number of days.
For the water spike to work, it is necessary to drill a small hole in the bottom of the water bottle attached to the spike. This is easy to do with a nail, screw or drill. When filling the water bottle with water, it is easy to place a finger over the hole to prevent water dripping out. Otherwise you may end up with wet shoes!
Bottle Top Waring Spikes – Buying Considerations
If using for holiday watering, it is recommended to trial using the watering spike before you go away. It may take a few goes to set the drip at the correct speed:
The speed of the drip will vary according to:
- The size of the hole drilled in the bottom of the water bottle
- How open the tap is on the water spike
- The amount of water in the water bottle (as the bottle empties – the pressure of the remaining water decreases – in other words the drips slow down)
Bottle top watering spikes are probably best considered as useful for holidays like a long weekend or up to 1 weeks duration. For longer periods, consider investing in drip irrigation systems.
However, apart from holiday watering, they also come in useful as regular watering devices in their own right.
The picture above shows a watering spike used for a squash plant. With spreading plants like squash, it is sometimes difficult to know where the parent plant is to water. A bottle top waterer is ideal in this situation, and helps bring water down to the roots.
Watering squash in this way saves time. It is also a reliable way of providing water to plants like courgette, tomato and cucumber.