The Beauty and Convenience of Emulating Nature
HOW SUB-IRRIGATION WORKS
Sub-irrigation does exactly what the name implies. The plants and growing medium (a 'container blend' soil) sit on top of a water reservoir and, by design, soak up water slowly and consistently over time through the capilary action of the growing medium, quenching ever-thirsty roots. To refill, a hollow tube runs down the inside of the container (the "WaterStem") which allows water to bypass the soil and be added directly to the reservoir at the bottom of the garden. The technical layer between the two, separating the soil from the water reservoir (the "SIPs") are designed to slow the uptake of water into the soil (the soil isn't flooded). A sub-irrigation system is best served with a reservoir water level indicator (the "FloatGauge") so it is clear to the user when more water is needed.
WHY CHOOSE SUB-IRRIGATION
Simply put - a steady and consistent supply of water can allow plants to thrive! Benefits of sub-irrigation include stronger and faster growth, less stress and so more disease-resistant, as well as seasonal plants having larger fruits and/or maintaining their blooms longer. Because the rootball of the plant stays at a constant moisture level, it is not stressed with either drying out or getting too soggy. Over watering, which is a common problem for veggies, can be avoided. Also, soil is not moved or lost as water is added. There is also less opportunity for mess, especially for plants in hard to reach places, or balconies and patios where mess needs to be avoided. The water is poured directly into an area where there is space for it - and not directly into the soil where it must soak in or overflow, especially if the top soil has become dried out.
Using the SIP.tech sub-irrigation system, our LifeSpace Gardens will keep plants watered for approximately 1 week to 4 weeks on each reservoir fill, depending on the climate and weather, as well as stage of growth (full-grown tomato plants need more water when they are actively fruiting, for example). The reservoir's water level still needs to be monitored periodically - easily done by checking the FloatGauge, and topping it up when neccessary. Remember also that, when it does rain, the reservoir does double duty as a rain barrel by capturing excess water and storing it for sunnier days. Overall, with a healthy water level, some general plant care and watching for any pesky pests or diseases, the LifeSpace SIP.tech self-watering sub-irrigation system will help you create the optimal environment for your veggies to grow!