If Lowe's gave you a $100 gift card to create anything in your garden you wanted, what would you choose? (That's what the challenge was for us regional garden experts: Improve our gardens for $100 or less.) My husband and I installed a drip irrigation system for the pots on our back deck--excluding the agaves and succulents.
Call me excessive: 22 containers hang above and cluster around the deck behind our house. In the middle of summer it takes 30 minutes, twice a day, to water them. That's time away from smelling the roses, and it's a chore during the hottest weather of the year.
We also like to travel at least once during the summer. In the past we hired someone to house sit, feed our animals and water the plants. With a drip irrigation system we eliminated the last item.
A drip irrigation system is efficient and environmentally sound. You also can also water at night, when plants are less stressed.
At our local Lowe's we bought the following items to create our drip system:
We ran the tubing behind the pots, where it's barely noticeable. I found the system easy to install.
It took a bit of trial and error to achieve the best rate of water flow for all the various pots. I ran the system two different nights and checked the soil. We discovered some containers needed larger, adjustable emitters. We found these in the plumbing/sprinkler department at Lowe's.
Drip emitters must be anchored to the container. If the emitter is dislodged, you'll come home to dead plants.
My container garden has never looked better. Now we can go outside, relax and enjoy the flowers because we're assured our plants are watered without all the work.
Plus, this project gave us the confidence to extend our in-ground sprinkler system ourselves instead of calling in the professionals We plan to tackle that next. It's pretty amazing what you can do with $100, isn't it?