Magazine article Sunset

Drip Kits for Pots: A Hassle-Free Way to Water Container Plants Automatically

Magazine article Sunset

Drip Kits for Pots: A Hassle-Free Way to Water Container Plants Automatically

Article excerpt

Since my watering habits are a little erratic, I decided that the best way to keep my potted plants from dying of thirst was to install a timed drip-irrigation system. A timed system eliminates the need for hand-watering, ensuring that plants won't dry out if you forget to water or if you go on vacation.

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Intimidated by the prospect of assembling a drip system from scratch, I opted for a prepackaged kit. I chose the Raindrip Automatic Drip Watering Patio Kit (about $40 at garden supply stores). Once I started, it was as easy to put together as a Lego set.

Before you assemble the system, read the accompanying instructions thoroughly. Kits vary slightly from brand to brand; choose one that includes a timer, a filter, a pressure regulator, and an antisiphon device (also called a backflow preventer or vacuum breaker), which keeps irrigation water from being drawn back into the public water system and is required by many localities. If your kit doesn't have all these components, purchase them separately.

Make sure containers are where you want them before you lay any tubing. On a timed system, the plants should have similar water needs; try to use containers in the same size range.

SOURCES: Drip Works (www.dripworksusa.com or 800/522-3747) and Raindrip (www.raindrip.com or 877/237-3747) sell kits; the Urban Farmer Store (www.urbanfarmerstore.com or 800/753-3747) sells separate components and offers advice for customized systems. …

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