// //

Sunday, May 28, 2017 - Welcome, guest user!

Automatic potted herb, tomato and vegetable irrigation system.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

May
30
2012

In a comment attached to yesterday’s blog it was pointed out by JSF member “DFS” that I never gave any details about the automatic herb, tomato and vegetable irrigation system I installed earlier this year. Regular watering of your edibles is obviously critical (especially in hot climates), and today I’d like to show you how easy and inexpensive it is rig up your own automatic irrigation system.

Here's the completed project. I took this picture in March, right after finishing the installation.

Here's the completed project. I took this picture in March, right after finishing the installation.

The first thing you’ll need to do is decide how many potted plants you want to water. I have a total of 16 watering locations this year, which (slightly) complicates the installation.

The article assumes that you already have your pots, soil, plants and so forth.

Here are the supplies you’ll need to set up your own irrigation system for up to eight plants:

 

If you want to irrigate more than eight plants, you’ll also need additional drip kit(s), and a 1/2″ main water supply line:

 

The digital Mister Timer allows me to easily adjust the watering start times as well as the frequency and duration of each watering session.

The digital Mister Timer allows me to easily adjust the watering start times as well as the frequency and duration of each watering session.

The patio drip kits come with clear installation instructions, but I’ll outline the basic procedure. Also, as mentioned above, if you’re watering more than eight plants you’ll need to make the main water line run from the hose bib using 1/2″ tubing (instead of 1/4″) so that enough water is delivered to each location.

Installation is easy. The first step is to install the Y-adapter on your hose bib and then attach the digital timer. Then, simply attach the backflow preventer along with either a 1/4″ or 1/2″ hose fitting, which you’ll connect to either a 1/4″ or 1/2″ main water supply line.

Next run the main water supply line up one side of the shelving, securing it with zip ties. At each shelf you’ll need to punch a hole in the main water supply line and use the supplied 1/4″ vinyl barb inlets to attach a run of 1/4″ hose across the length of each shelf. I suggest securing the line to the shelves with zip ties.

Finally, it’s simply a matter of using the supplied 1/4″ vinyl tee fittings to attach another short run of 1/4″ hose to the adjustable dripper stakes, which are pushed into the soil in each pot.

Each plant has its own individually adjustable spray head.

Each plant has its own individually adjustable spray head.

The dripper stakes are individually adjustable, so you can easily customize the amount of water delivered to each plant by simply turning the spray head to the left or right.

This system has worked extremely well. When I first installed the system in March I set the timer to water once per day at 6:45 AM for 2 minutes. Now that it’s hotter I have the timer set to water at 6:45 AM and 6:45 PM, 2 minutes per watering. As the temperature continues to climb, I will probably need to increase the watering time. Thankfully the timer is super easy to program, so making changes is a snap.

This project has not only saved me a lot of time, it also saves water because there is no wasteful over-spray. Additionally, the quality and quantity of peppers, herbs and tomatoes we’ve produced this year has been remarkable.

You’ll be able to knock this project out in just an hour or two, so if you’re growing more than a couple potted plants on your patio don’t put it off!

Leave a comment below if you have any questions and I’ll try to help. 🙂

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to “Automatic potted herb, tomato and vegetable irrigation system.”
  1. That’s pretty cool, thanks John. It seems to me there’s no reason not to do this…it’s cheap, efficient, and effective.

    How’s the banana harvest shaping up this year?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • The banana plants are doing fantastic. Right now they are in their growing phase, so fruit won’t be produced for a while yet. The plants are about 2 months ahead of where they were last year: they are as tall now as they were last year in early August. Hopefully the fruit will be produced several months earlier than last year, and we’ll be able to harvest well before the first freeze.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...

You must be logged in to post a comment. Not yet a member? Registration is fast and free!