If you find the obligation of watering to be a chore, hooking up a battery operated timer with a simple drip irrigation system may really work for you!
To get started, you’ll need a hose bib somewhere (anywhere) near the pots or plants you want to water. From there you can attach a battery operated timer, run some tubing and emitters to your plants and ta da – you now have an automatic watering system.
You’ll still need to check on your plants from time to time, and adjust the water according to the season (and don’t forget to change those batteries every 6 months).
Why we Love Drip Irrigation Systems…
Drip irrigation was first introduced in Israel over 30 years ago. It’s main objective: to achieve water conservation using a more efficient watering system, is the main reason why drip irrigation is so popular today. Additional benefits include:
- They are easy to install
- They delivers water where the plant needs it –happy plants, happy watering bill 🙂
- Trenching is not necessary
- Saves you money
- Saves you wasting water
- Easier to install than most other watering systems
Drip Irrigation Timer and Parts:
If your local nursery or hardware store doesn’t carry irrigation supplies it is now possible to find everything you need online. You’ll need the following to get started:
2. Pressure reducer and filter
3. Irrigation tubing
4. Drip emitters, connectors and end caps and punch
6. A goose neck swivel and a Y (if you also want to connect a hose to the faucet)
7. A roll of Teflon tape
8. Battery (Which type depends on the timer you buy)
Step 1: Wrap the hose bib with a couple of rounds of Teflon tape (in a clockwise direction) Attach your Y and then the goose neck to point one of the openings on the Y downward (so your timer does not stick straight out from the tap).
TIP: Turn on the tap to see if there are any leaks from either the hose bib itself or the connection with the Y and goose neck (with the Y and goose neck in the off or closed position)
Step 2: Wrap the end of the goose neck swivel with a couple of rounds of tape and attach your timer followed by the pressure reducer and filter (which can now be purchased as a combined piece). After the filter, you’ll need to attach a compression connector to insert your ¾” tubing.
Step 3: Unroll your tubing in the direction of the plants you want watered. Elbows and Tees allow you to bend around corners or split off into several rows. If you are running the tubing along the ground, use your U stakes to tack it down.
TIP: With container plants, if you have a wooden railing along your deck, you may want to secure the tubing with clips. Once you’ve reached all the container plants with the tubing, cut it from the roll, and close it up with an end cap.
Step 4: Now you’re ready to use your smaller ¼” tubing. Punch a hole in the ¾” tubing, (close to the plant) push in an irrigation connector and then push the ¼” tubing into the connector.
TIP: You want to hear a little click after pushing the 1/4″ connector into 3/4″ poly tubing so you know that it’s secure fit.
Step 5: Unroll the ¼” tubing until you are close to your plant. Then, at the end of your tubing, choose an appropriate gph emitter (gallons per hour). There are actually many choices when it comes to emitters and what you choose depends on your plants watering needs.
Step 6: After having chosen your emitter, attach it to the end of your tubing & position it close to your plant. (Note: never directly on crown area of plant)
Step 7: Stake down the ¼” line so that your emitter releases water close to the plant, but not right on it’s (trunk). Congratulations! Once you’ve done this to each plant, your new watering system is complete! But, don’t pack up yet…
Step 8: Run the timer to make sure all of your connections are secure and that water is, indeed coming out of each emitter to your plants. As your system ages, connections may break, get cut or be sabotaged by an animal (raccoons seem to love to chew on the lines – arrggghhh) so tuck away your extra irrigation parts as you’ll need them at some point. We use battery operated timers a lot and find them to be very reliable.
How Long Will the Timer Last?
If you live in an area that gets very cold winter (or even if you don’t), it’s a good idea to disconnect the timers at the end of the season, and take them inside to lengthen their life span – which, since you asked, is about 3 years.
They can certainly last longer..
But, should you notice the timer going through batteries faster than usual, this may be an indication that it’s on its way out, (time to be replaced.) If you’re replacing the timer, it’s a good idea to also check and clean the filter, as well as remove the end cap to flush the line of any sediment.
If you’re using the exact same timer, it should fit back together nicely (just re tape all connections and add a new battery)
Note: To get you started, visit Amazon. You can order battery operated timers, drip irrigation systems and any other supplies you might need to set up your new watering system. Check back for future product reviews.