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DIY Drip Irrigation System (at work!)

Few weeks ago I tested the drip irrigation system indoors and it worked pretty well.  I've modified it a bit, I used the solar panel and pump that i purchased last year and an aquarium  2-way valve to control the water flow.  The solar panel powers the pump and the valve control the speed of the water drip.  Don't worry if you don't have the solar panel and pump, the idea is still the same and it'll still work.  You just need to make sure the water source is placed higher than the plant.

I used the solar panel because I wanted the watering system to work only when the sun is out.  This way I can prevent the risk of over-watering the plants.  Since i planted mostly drought-tolerant plants this year, I only put the drip on two plants that needs consistent moist soil-Mandevilla and the Fairy Rose.  This system can be expanded to water more plants but I'll keep it to two for now.

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  1. Awesome Louise!!! This is great, especially since it doesn’t require access to a water spigot or an electrical outlet.

  2. I have had the watering challenge for some time. Carrying gallon jugs to the veggie plants every day. This set up appears to be simple and I will give it a try. If it works and I have a strong feeling it will the person who perfected this system must be commended for sharing his/her plan. Thank You!

  3. Fern – I’m hoping this will be sufficient for the summer. I actually have an electrical outlet on my deck but the solar panel only works with this pump.

    Butchrgt – You’re welcome! I know what you mean carrying gallon jugs from the house. I did that last year and I couldn’t keep up with it. Not to mention occasionally spilling water all over the floor. It was a mess!

  4. What capacity/type of Solar Panel and Pump combination/brand did you use?

    Where are they available (net or ?)??

    Great – simple idea !!

    • Hey Dennis,
      I HIGHLY recommend ebay for the pump and the solar panel. You can get a kit for about 10 bucks–what a steal! That’s where I got mine, and the whole system works great. Of course, I actually invested in a drip watering kit to go with the pump/solar cell and just fitted it all together and voilahhhh–a nice low maintenance system!

  5. Dennis – the setup is a variation of a solar irrigation kit I bought from Gardeners but they have since discontinued the product. I’m not sure about the brand of the solar panel and pump. The pump is a 4×4 inch solar panel, and the pump is a 24 gallon/hr DC pump.
  6. Cool.
    I did something similar (AC powered submersible fountain pump $15) and some of the adjustable emitters (with the small 1/4″ water line, they help make sure the plants at the end of the water line get watered). I’m considering using a timer for when I leave town.

    • BuddyGarden – thanks for posting. Is this setup for just a few pots, would you say?

      Derek D – Did you set up with the timer? Was it successful?

      I have about 36 pots, 5 of which are largish trees, in containers on my balcony and no water or outlet access. People are unreliable or unavailable for watering while I’m on vacation and I need to set something up for a 7 day departure in very hot weather.

      How do I know the best set up for my situation? I’m interested in the emitters and the getting water to the end of the line issue. How do I determine what kind/size pump I need? I can’t find much info about this on line. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  7. This is great! My Mom has a screen porch with lots of windows, and I’m looking to create a small indoor garden to grow her salad veggies. This would really help to minimize the effort needed to produce. BG, you stated that this system is used for two plants. Do you use a splitter? Or do you have two of those emitters coming off of the one single hose? Do you by chance have that part in a picture somewhere?

  8. Just wanted to let you know your system inspired me! I live in CA, which now has mandatory water saving regulations being implemented (not to mention this is our fourth year of serious drought and oddly HOT weather in Feb/March) and I created a system to water my container garden on my patio…Total cost was about 25 bucks (maybe less?) and it works FANTASTIC. I even can tip the solar cell to only get the afternoon sun, and then it only waters for an hour or so, due to shadows on my patio. Awesome, because now all I have to worry about is checking soil moisture and pH, and grooming my plants (all food). What a fantastic idea, thank you SO much for posting it!

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