Many plants prefer an evenly moist soil for best results with growth and production. This is especially important during the hot summer months, when plants go through a heavy growing period. Making a homemade bottle plant spike is low in cost and helps you stay on top of providing water to the plants using recycled materials.
According to Colorado State University Extension, drip irrigation is 90 percent efficient at providing water to plants, while a standard sprinkler is about 70 percent efficient. Homemade bottle spikes for drip irrigation allow you to focus the water application on one plant or a small group of plants. Drip irrigation systems reduce the amount of water needed for your garden, saving you money on water utilities. The slow water flow, directed at the roots of the plant, helps reduce water loss due to runoff and wind evaporation.
Homemade bottle spikes use recycled materials, making the drip system an economical and environmentally green choice for a home garden. The bottle systems allows you to regulate the amount of water used for irrigation, lowering the risk of excessive watering that might waste water. You can adjust the size of the drip irrigator by using a larger bottle for big plants and a smaller bottle for outdoor potted plants and houseplants.
Homemade bottle plant spikes are simple to construct, and the project only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. You can use almost any type of plastic bottle, from a 16-oz. water bottle to a 1-gallon milk jug. Drilling holes through the cap provides the release point for the water when inverting the bottle in the soil. Cut off the bottom of the bottle for a low-maintenance method of filling it with water. An open bottom also turns the plant spike into a rain-catching device.
Start saving plastic bottles during the winter months, so they are available to make homemade plant spikes after planting in the spring. Ask friends for plastic bottles, if you do not consume these beverages. Remove the bottles from the garden after the fall harvest, wash them thoroughly to remove dirt and place in storage for use the following year to prevent winter damage that may crack the plastic.