Take a look at the working model here.
As you know, container plants need more water than plants in the ground. This is because the roots in the pot cannot grow beyond the limit of the pot. Sometimes I find myself watering twice a day in the summer. Watering is especially hard for me because I don't have a water source on my deck, that means every time I water my plants, I need to make at least 5 trips with my watering can. Last year I couldn't keep up with this chore and ended up with a few casualties.
I have tried the Drip-It Waterers which didn't work for me at all, soil was bone dried after a day. I have also tried Patio Dripper Kit but after almost a whole day of setting it up, the result was very disappointing because only a few pots received enough water.
I have been testing this DIY drip irrigation, the result is very impressive. When the weather gets warmer I will test this outside. This setup is done without hooking up to a hose or sprinkler system. For a small test system like this, it's only US$2.28.
1 Large bucket (example or any available container)
1 Aquarium airline tubing - 12' ($1.49 per pack)
1 Aquarium 2-way valve (US$0.79 per pack)
1. Here's all you need to get started.
2. Cut a section of the airline tubing and connect to both ends of the plastic valve.
3. As a test, I grabbed a pitcher filled with water. Here's the important part, to start the water flow, you need to place the pitcher higher than the plant. Put one end of the airline tubing in the pitcher, and the other end in the pot.
4. The dial on the valve is to control the water flow. Use it to increase or decrease the amount of water the plant needs.
5. That's it! Here's a picture of the drip irrigation system at work.