After one summer of owning our lake home, I knew it was missing something… I love flowers, well that is an understatement. I really love flowers! They bring me joy and it feels good to know that I can keep them alive. 🙂
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So, the second spring in our home, I started doing some research on irrigation systems. I just knew there had to be a way! I mean, do you ever drive down those Main streets lined with beautiful hanging baskets and wonder how they look so beautiful?? You’re kidding yourself if you think someone comes through and waters those baskets every morning! They use a drip irrigation system!
After researching, I found out that I basically only needed a few items and about $40-50 and I could have a complete set up. I found an awesome Starter Kit that had the basics in it that I needed and honestly, it was way cheaper than purchasing everything separately! It had the faucet connection, the tubing, and the actual drip heads. I hooked up the faucet attachment to the spigot on the side of the house closest. I didn’t have enough tubing to go all the way to my deck and around so I ran basically used a leader hose to give the tubing more length. I used cable/zip ties to help secure the tubing to the deck because it was so easy and held it securely without damaging the pipe.
Given the amount of tubing and how it needed to run, not to mention that I wanted to be discreet about my watering system, I had to really plan out where I wanted my potted plants. Can I be honest? I was all excited about this system and wasn’t sure I’d get my husband on-board if I didn’t have the tubing hidden! Once he saw how neat I laid everything out, he was all in and thought it was the greatest thing! See it in the picture below, ran along the deck with zip ties? I know, you have to look hard but it’s there, right? 😉
I started with four potted plants the first year and placed them all across the front of the deck so it would be the easiest. I used a tool that came with the kit to pierce the tubing and inserted the drip attachment. I did that 4 times and then at the end of the tubing, I folded it in half, like you kink a hose, and slid this attachment around it (that also came with the kit) to hold it in place and stop the water. This year, I added two hanging baskets which was easy to do! I just pierced the hose and added in 2 more drip attachments where I wanted the hanging baskets. The tubing is 1/2″ so it doesn’t seem to lose pressure towards the ‘end of the line’ either and can handle all 6 containers.
Now, since I’m not at this home full-time, I obviously needed a timer to turn the water on while gone. This is a huge lifesaver, but one tip I should mention before I forget…you may want to get in the habit of replacing the batteries each year, so you don’t visit and find your plants haven’t been watered. Yup, that happened and it was a SAD day! Live and learn, friends, but I did end up saving them… I hide my timer behind some cannas too! Remember, I said this is a SECRET! Not everyone needs in on the secret. Ha! Until you have friends over on the deck and it’s 7:00 and your plants start getting watered. You’ll then have some explaining to do, but it makes for a fun conversation and you’ll quickly be the envy of your friends!
Ok, so this timer is simple to use. You basically just turn the dial and follow the directions. You set the current time, set the time you want your water to come on and for how long you want it to come on and then how often you want it to come on. I, personally, set mine for about 10 minutes every 12 hours and it works. This will of course depend on your pots and how big or small they are. Remember, small pots dry out very fast so I always recommend BIG pots!
I would honestly use a timer at my full-time home too, because we’re all busy and everyone takes summer vacations or a long weekend, right? With this system, there’s no more asking a neighbor to come over and water for you. I mean, most will agree and smile, but everyone’s time is precious and we’re all busy, right?!? There are other kits out there that use the same types of tubing and attachments but are for gardens and smaller container gardens so once you have this down, you’ll be able to tackle those easily! If you try this, please send me a message! I want to see those beautiful plants and how much FREE time you now have!