Irrigation Without Irritation: 3 Easy DIY Plant Watering Systems

Drip irrigation systems may seem a bit complicated at first glance, but the truth is, they can really simplify your life. Plus, if you make your own DIY plant watering system, you can save yourself a ton of cash! Plants rely on us for consistent watering schedules, but it’s easy to get caught up in our other responsibilities, and sometimes our gardening duties fall to the wayside. While many plants can bounce back after a brief period of drought, some plants like tomatoes will throw a fit pretty quickly if they don’t get regular watering, and the signs of stress will show up quickly. Drama queens, am I right? 

To save yourself the trouble of constantly fussing over your plants, set up a drip system to keep your plants consistently watered so that you can get back to more pressing matters, like binge-watching reality shows on Netflix! Here are some easy DIY irrigation methods that will save you loads of trouble.



Homemade Drip Irrigation Hose

Turning a regular hose into a soaker hose for your garden or lawn is actually pretty simple! You just need a hose, a cap to screw on the end, and a drill to make some holes. Putting the cap on the hose will force the water to come out the holes, so if you snake the hose through your plants, the water will be distributed evenly.

Using a ¼ inch-wide drill bit, make evenly spaced holes all along the same side of the hose. If your garden is really big, you might want to attach a second hose. Once it’s all hooked up, turn on your hose just a little bit, so the water starts trickling out. Don’t turn it on full blast—this is a drip system, not a geyser. 

Leave it on for about half an hour at a time, and run it every couple of days, depending on how much rain you’re getting. If you’re worried about forgetting it and leaving it on for too long, you can purchase a timer that will shut it off automatically. 



DIY Gravity Drip Irrigation

Harness the power of gravity to water your plants with this cool project that feels like something you’d make for a junior high science fair! All you need is a large bucket, some ¼ inch tubing, silicone caulk, and a ½ GPH dripper (the GPH stands for gallons per hour—the amount of water that will be released). Run the tubing through the bottom of the bucket (make sure to caulk around the tubing to keep things watertight), attach the dripper, elevate the bucket, and place the dripper end in the spot where you want the water to be released. 

You can connect multiple hoses to the same bucket in varying lengths to reach different spots in your garden, but if the garden is pretty big, you’ll probably want to use a couple of buckets. Fill the buckets up with the amount of water you want to deliver to your plants, and then just let it do its thing! This method of consistent, steady watering will definitely keep your plants content.


DIY Drip Irrigation System For Potted Plants

This is an awesome method for keeping your plants watered while you’re away on vacation! All you need is a two-liter plastic bottle, a lighter, a pin, a small stake or skewer, and some tape. Remove the plastic cap from the bottle, heat up the pin in the flame of the lighter, and then poke four holes in the cap. Fill the bottle with water, place the cap back on, and then hold it upside down.

For the first few seconds, water will start to pour out, but after a moment, it will create a vacuum inside the bottle, and the water flow will stop. Tape the stake to the bottle, so it extends about 4–6 inches from the cap. Press it into the soil so that the cap is slightly lower than the soil surface, but not too close to the plant, to avoid disturbing the roots.

As the sun heats up the bottle, this will create pressure inside that helps to release the water over time slowly. Leave it for a week, and you’ll come back to evenly watered potted plants!


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