by Texas Homesteader ~
I tested a plant watering system that uses a porous terracotta stake & a repurposed water bottle or empty glass wine bottle to hold the water.
Well color me intrigued! But how did it work?
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How To Keep Outside Planters Watered
It’s summer in Texas, and as it typically does it’s turned hot and DRY! I’m doing everything I can to keep my outside plants watered.
I have a few footed concrete planters that I have on my porch holding things such as chocolate mint, spearmint and my favorite herb thyme!
I struggle to keep the potted plants healthy & watered, especially during the heat of summer. And I’ve lost plants and had to repurchase and replant them repeatedly in this cement planter over the years!
My Thoughts, Open & Honest
It’s easy to find various sizes, styles and manufacturers of *terra cotta watering stakes on Amazon, so you can easily pick the one that suits your needs.
The Plant Nanny folks agreed to send me one of their terracotta plant stakes to try.
Now while the fine folks at Plant Nanny did send a couple of their watering stakes to me to review for you at no cost to me, the opinions and review in this post are all me!
Terracotta Water Spike’s Eco-Friendly Features
I was intrigued with this plant watering stake for two BIG reasons:
It’s made of terracotta, not plastic (I HATE plastic!)
It uses a repurposed water bottle, which means less to the recycling bin. (I repurposed a GLASS bottle instead of a plastic one!)
In reaching out to Maria in the Plant Nanny Marketing department, she tells me that as of this writing, their 4-pack of Water-Bottle Stakes are ranked #6 in Amazon’s garden products category.
They also have a larger Plant Nanny watering spike that uses repurposed glass wine bottles which is as of this writing ranked #1 Best Selling product in Amazon’s Gardening Pots & Planters category.
Their product is manufactured in China. I guess I was a little surprised that it wasn’t made in the U.S.A., which I would have obviously preferred. But the manufacture location wasn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for me.
How The Plant Nanny Watering Stake Works
The smaller-sized watering stake comes with a screw-on top equipped with a rubber gasket. You screw the top onto the repurposed water bottle and the elongated section drops down into the terracotta stake and allows the water to flow into the watering stake.
Now the instructions for this watering stake indicate it’s to be used with a repurposed water bottle. But, you know… plastic. (see hatred-of-plastic statement above)
Luckily my sister, knowing my love of repurposing glass, brought me a bottle from their home that used to contain some sort of cooking oil. Hummm… It looks like it’ll fit this Plant Nanny’s screw-on top. YES! EUREKA!
Of course if you like you can take the recommended route and just use a repurposed plastic water bottle to hold the water. But this glass bottle worked beautifully for me!
Since the stake is made of terracotta, the water seeps out slowly through the porous material of the stake and into the surrounding soil, thereby delivering water underground.
That means the water is delivered directly where it’s needed – the roots!
Setting Up My Watering Stake
So I figured I’d give ‘er a try. I used my garden spade to gently loosen and remove a section of soil to receive the terracotta spike.
I’d think if you just tried to shove this stake into your soil it could damage the stake.
It took no time at all to get the watering spike into place.
Then I took my glass bottle and filled it with rainwater from my rain barrel. I screwed on the Plant Nanny screw top, turned the bottle upside down and placed it into the watering stake.
Bubbles instantly appeared within the bottle letting me know the stake was taking the water. I love it!
Now the water sits within the stake waiting for the soil around it to begin to dry. As the soil dries, water is drawn through the porous material and delivered to the soil and the plant’s roots.
How Did The Terracotta Watering Stake Work?
It sounds like a good premise. But how did it work?
Well I found that during the heat of summer the watering stake was having a hard time keeping the entire planter fully watered. So I had to drop a little water on it about every week or so to keep it happy.
Perhaps the planter is just too big for one of these stakes to keep up. I’m thinking of getting another stake for the other side of the pot.
Hints I’ve read When Using Terracotta Water Spike:
- I’ve read that darker glass helps protect against excess algae growth inside the bottle.
- I’ve also read that if you add fertilizer to the water in the bottle, it can collect within the terracotta material over time & make it less effective.
- The Plant Nanny folks also sell hand-crafted glass watering globes which can be used with their stakes for a more polished look. What a great idea, especially for more decorative inside plants!
Summary: I loved it – but I may need 2!
In summary, I loved the ease of dealing with the Plant Nanny folks. I love that these water stakes deliver water directly to the plant roots.
And I especially love the plant watering stakes are made of terracotta. Plus, the water conservation aspect is hugely important to me.
Although my cement planter needed a little extra watering help in our Texas summer heat, I’m thinking perhaps an additional stake in the planter may solve that problem.
I love the Plant Nanny brand I have. But if you want to check out different brands of plant-watering stakes you can find various sizes & brands on on Amazon *HERE.
My Favorite Garden Hacks
- Easy Garden Planning Spreadsheet
- Getting A Jump: Planting An Indoor Greenhouse
- Repurposed Cardboard Seed-Starting Pots
- 3-Sister’s Garden – The Original Companion Planting
- Planting A Large Galvanized Trough
- Tricking Birds AWAY From Your Strawberry Plants
- Easy Compost For A Healthy Garden
- Propping Tender Seedlings
- Cheap (or FREE) Wood Mulch For The Garden
- Using Vining Plants For Living Mulch
- Homestead Hack: Remember Where You Planted Seeds
- How Vegetable Gardening Can Change Your Life!
- Keeping Potted Plants Watered
- Planting A Blueberry Bush In Galvanized Tub
- Stevia – Growing Your Own Sweetener!
- How I Use EcoBricks In The Garden
- Compost Old Confidential Documents
- Repurposing A Coffee Can For Deep-Soak Watering
- How Leaves Benefit Your Garden
- My Simple, Zero-Waste Herb Drying Setup
- How To Grow Fresh Salad Greens In All Seasons
- The Lazy Gardener’s Plant List – Plant Once, Eat For Years!
MORE Gardening Posts
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Really cool idea! I want the wine bottle one!
The wine bottle Plant Nanny is cool, Michelle. I used a blue Riesling bottle for it and it’s currently keeping my huge zucchini plant watered. ~TxH~
What a clever idea. Great, detailed review. Thanks!
We’re doing whatever we can to conserve water – there’s been no rain here for two weeks and none planned for the next 10 days at least, but the temps are tickling 100 degrees each day. ~TxH~
I have heard of this system but have not tried it. Thanks for sharing.
So far this system has worked well keeping the plants in my planters watered – potted plants are always such a challenge for me! ~TxH~
I just bought a 4 pack from Amazon yesterday and got them today (love Prime!) I presoaked it for an hour and then put in a pot. I hope it will work because I can’t trust that my family will water my plants well while I am gone!
Awesome Teresa. I’m with you – nobody’s gonna water my plants for me when I’m gone, so I might as well set things up for my short absence. Let us know how you like ’em! ~TxH~
Looks like they would be great for container plants but maybe not so good for tomato plants or other large veggie plants being they take a lot of water and need to be watered deeply.
I have used milk containers by putting small holes in the bottom and filling up the milk container with water and putting cap back on or using pipe with holes in it for water to run through. Have also used 2 liter soda bottles for drip irrigation. Many items a person can use for drip irrigation around plants.
I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of repurposed drip-irrigation type things lately Colleen. My hose busted while RancherMan & I were away and drained ALL the rainwater from our cistern! Grrrrrr… I’m doing everything I can to tread lightly on my irrigation water source. ~TxH~
I wonder if they’d fit Perrier bottles? I suspect your thyme will grow more voluptuously now that it has its own water source.
I’m not sure Khadija, I’ll be experimenting with various different bottles to see what fits, looks nicest and still does the job. Let me know if you try the Perrier bottles and how they work for you! ~TxH~