After recently going away for a few days before I left I had the usual worry about how to keep my crop of chillies (and other plants such as container grown french beans) alive while i was away. After recently moving to the area i’ve not yet managed to find a friendly chilli waterer I can call on in short notice so I had to look for another solution.
After a bit of research and a conversation with a friend I discovered Aquadrip Bottle Top Watering Spikes.
You attach these spikes to regular plastic water/fizzy drink bottles and stick them in the ground near your plant. At the end of the spike is a small hole that allows a controllable flow of water to flow into the soil.
One thing I did find was that I had to punch a very small hole in the top of the bottles to avoid getting an airlock.
While I was away one of the spikes got blocked up with soil once the bottle was half empty, the remaining 9 worked perfectly. I was pretty pleased with myself when I returned home to find all my potted chillies looking nice and healthy.
I tested the Aquadrips during the week before I left with the aim of gauging exactly how long they would take to empty a 2 liter bottle into the ground. I used an old 2 liter coke bottle and managed to get that to last about 30 hours before it was empty.
Of course because the water is delivered to the soil underground, next to the roots, there is very little of the evaporation that usually happens when watering the surface of the soil.
While these aren’t a long term watering solution and certainly won’t keep your plants alive if you are away on a two week holiday they are great for a long weekend. While there is a chance they will block, and will only provide about a day and a half’s watering at most for the money they are a great backup to have in the shed in case you need to go away for a few days at the height of summer.
Learn more about the Aquadrip here.