Deep pipe watering

Lancaster, CA

HI All,

I read somewhere (??) about a deep watering technique using wide pipes (3-5" across?) sunk deep in the ground alongside new plantings to encourage deep root growth. The pipe has holes in the bottom 2/3 I think. The pipe is filled with gravel or somesuch to prevent clogging the holes, then allowed to fill with water. That's the way I remember it.

? Anyone familiar with this technique? Read or used it?

How close to the new planting should the pipe be?
How can u make certain to get the best water dispersal pattern in the surrounding soil?
Do u use several pipes around the tree or is one enough?


Castelnau RB Pyrenée, France(Zone 8a)

A slight variation I've seen recommended is to put a 'leaky' hose pipe coiled to go round the bottom of the planting hole and arranged so you can water into it. This takes the water right where you need it, and right round the roots, not just in one spot.
I've not tried it yet though

Lancaster, CA

hmmm. sounds interesting too, thank you.


Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

I've used the pvc pipe with holes before, Chris, but only in one my strawberry barrels. Works very good. (this pic is a poor forgotton barrel in the middle of winter!)

You mentioned above you were putting yours around a tree? What kind of tree?

Thumbnail by Horseshoe
Lancaster, CA

Well it would be with a peach/pear/cherry/asian pear or perhaps the blackberries or the kiwi we're going to try this year.

Dad has the orchard, I'll see if I can get him to come on and speak for himself.

How'd it work in the strawberry pot?

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Worked great in the pot. I didn't put gravel in the pipe either.

The reason I ask about the kind of tree is cus you need to remember that the feeder roots of trees extend out to the drip line. If you put the pipe up next to the trunk that will put water very close to the tree but it may not travel out to the feeder roots. If the soil next to the trunk is where the water is, the tree roots will quite possibly stay there and not branch out (or if the tree is already established then the feeder roots could actually turn around and grow back towards the trunk). Picture a rootbound potted plant with the roots circling round and round looking for nutrition/water.

Hope I'm making sense. (I haven't had my coffee quota yet today!)

Lancaster, CA

No you made perfect sense. That's exactly the info I wanted. So.

For dwarf fruit close would you suggest for an initial bareroot planting?

Should I plan to move or change the location of the pipe over time?

How big (diameter) of pipe did you use in the strawberry pot and how big were the holes along the length.?

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Welp, for a newly planted tree I suppose (just deducing here) it could go 12" of so from the trunk, maybe more depending on the soil type you have. And yes, you might have to move it later.

By the way, the pipe I used in the strawberry barrel is 2" schedule 40 pvc and the holes are 3/8th.

Your dad might also like to try what I do in my little orchard if he doesn't go the pipe-in-the- ground route.
I used an inexpensive water hose from walmart and laid it out along my row of trees, then punched a hole in the hose wherever the trunk of the tree lined up next to it. This made my own cheapy "drip or drizzle" system, and could be moved from one row to the next (or you could make several hoses like this).
Keep in mind that the holes should all be on the same "side" of the hose. Some of the hoses for sale have a white stripe on one side so if you get those kind you can make the holes along the stripe. (If the holes are on different sides, when you turn on the water some of the holes will be sprayng into the ground, some will be spraying away from the tree, some will be going straight up, etc.)

It makes it a nice way to water, and movable. Because the hose is on the ground tho, you'll have to quickly roll it up before you mow around the trees but that is not really a problem to do.

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