Is there an irrigation system that easily water plants on a patio?
July 12, 2005 2:50 AM   Subscribe

GardeningFilter: is there an irrigation system that easily waters plants in containers on a patio?

I have a 12'x18' patio that is a simple concrete slab. I'm interested in placing some vegitation on said patio. I have in my posession 5 large cedar containers in which I intend to plant succulents and perhaps a citrus tree or two. Here's my problem: I have some back pain and I don't want to be bending over all the time to water the plants and perform maintenance, etc. The ideal system that I am envisioning gets hooked up to a hose and then routed through the soil of all the pots. This may require drilling holes into the continers to snake the hose through. All I would have to do is turn on the faucet to water all the plants at one time. Does anything like this exist? If not, do experienced gardeners know a way to reliably fashion something like this for the needs of my environment?
posted by quadog to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are micorirrigation systems that can water your containers. I think Lowes and other places sell them. They consist of 3/4" plastic hose and emmiters and connecting peices. You can set up a timer and never worry about watering again. It will be hard to hide the hose if you place the containers in the middle of the patio.

Just be aware that it's very easy to over water succulents and trees. You'll have to monitor the moisture level for a few weeks before you can leave it alone.

An alternative would be to use plants with low water requirements (like succulents and trees), use mulch on the soil surface and use a soil mix that holds water well (some mixes have a new jell like additive that holds a lot of water). If your patio is exposed to rain, then you might not have to water. Otherwise, I think if you could go for a week without watering by using the right plants and soil.
posted by recurve at 3:11 AM on July 12, 2005

The folks at Gardeners have a bunch of stuff for drip irrigation. I used a small system for my tomatoes, it worked great.
posted by Marky at 3:28 AM on July 12, 2005

Lee Valley sells low flow and drip irrigation kits too. Because I'm bone idle, I'm looking at using a rainbarrel feed system so that the system works with as little effort as possible.
posted by bonehead at 6:02 AM on July 12, 2005

Lee Valley has a container watering kit. They also have a kit designed to be used with rain barrels. Because they both connect to a tap it is a fairly simple process to put them on a timer.
posted by Mitheral at 6:32 AM on July 12, 2005

Or ya, what bonehead wrote.
posted by Mitheral at 6:33 AM on July 12, 2005

Or just get a hose wand so you don't have to bend at all. I know it lacks geek cred but *shrug* it's aprox $12 and you don't have to do all the bending to create the system initially.
posted by phearlez at 8:55 AM on July 12, 2005

My house has had some good luck with Melnor timing and spot irrigation products. We don't even think about watering our hanging baskets -- handy husband set up tubing and a Melnor timer at the faucet, and they get short blasts of water at predetermined times throughout the day, just as they did at the greenhouse. Also set up a splitter with a second timer so that our new patch of grass seed was regularly soaked via a spot sprinkler.
posted by clever sheep at 9:28 AM on July 12, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, guys! These suggestions have been very helpful.
posted by quadog at 10:57 AM on July 12, 2005

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