If you enjoy gardening with containers around your deck, patio or yard, drip irrigation will prove to be a perfect addition to your portable garden. You may already know some of the advantages container gardening offers.
- Portability, containers can be moved to the best spots
- Container gardens are great for beginners
- Less bending over, less back pain
- Vegetables can be grown next to the kitchen
By combining these benefits with drip irrigation's root targeting technology you'll save time and worry about hand watering your plants, and will have more time to enjoy your decorative and delicious plants looking beautiful month after month.
In the following post we'll explain how to setup your container onto a drip system, and will offer our recommendations for which emitter products work best and why.
Whether you're using wooden planters or ceramic/plastic pots, converting your containers from a hose system to a drip system requires just a few simple steps. To begin installing your drip system run 1/2" Mainline Tubing behind each of the pots/planters you want to include, then close off your mainline with a 1/2" Easy Loc End Cap. Next, punch a hole in your mainline behind each container you wish to irrigate and insert a Transfer Barb or a Micro-Flow Valve. Attach the 1/4" Micro Tubing to your mainline and bring the tubing into the container, then connect your emitter to the end of the line and stake in place. If you want a smoother transition into the container, cut the 1/4" tubing where it crosses the containers edge and insert a 1/4" Elbow fitting. That's it! Simply repeat these steps for each container you wish to add to your drip system.
Now that your containers are on a drip system, it's just as important to set up your watering schedule. We recommend a battery timer which will allow you to set your drip system to water your plants on a daily or weekly watering schedule. This is important because containers need frequent but very short watering cycles (around 1-5 minutes). It's also important to remember to place your containers and landscape gardens on separate circuits as they have different watering requirements.
When looking for a great emitter to use with your drip system we recommend low flow pressure compensating emitters, soaker dripline, and adjustable sprayers that will "fit" within your containers. The following list explains which emitter is best suited for your watering needs and container.
Cobra Stake Emitters will deliver precisely 1/2, 1, or 2 gallons per hour. Using one or two of the 1/2 GPH emitters will be fine for 12" or smaller pots. The 1 or 2 GPH emitters are suitable for large containers.
Shrubblers will emit 8 fingers of water that are adjustable from a drip to 24" diameter circle. They can put out a lot of water (0-13 GPH) and are perfect for half oak barrels.
Soaker Dripline works well for medium to larger circular planters, long and narrow rectangular planters, and window boxes. A wooden raised bed veggie garden at home can use Soaker Dripline too. Hold Down Stakes will keep the Soaker Dripline in place.
Mini Misters also can be used to mist a small container. These work well for bonsai trees in small shallow trays.
Maximizing Your Containers
Think of container growing as an art form. Choose flower colors and container colors to match the exterior of your home or to spice up your growing area. Mix and match plants for an array of foliage texture, color, and shape. Plants like red chard or Thai basil add color and flavor to your container garden. Varying heights of painted planters can also add special, beautiful, and dimensional interest. Container gardens can be large or small, inside or outside, and are not limited to plant type. No Matter where you live or how much space you have, a container garden can bring fresh veggies, beautiful flowers, and relaxation to your life.