How to make homemade drip irrigation systems

Written by richard hoyt
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When watering your garden, it's wasteful to apply it where there are no plants. You want to get water to the roots of your plants. A drip-irrigation system does just that, slowly applying water just in the areas where it's needed. You can purchase a variety of drip-irrigation systems to water your flowers or vegetables. But if you are an imaginative gardener who likes the challenge of doing things yourself, you can make your own drip-irrigation system.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 2 qt. plastic bottle or jug
  • Serrated knife
  • Electric drill
  • Plastic water hose
  • Strips of cloth

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    Upside-down plastic bottle

  1. 1

    Cut the bottom off a two-quart plastic bottle. If it held soap or detergent, clean it out.

  2. 2

    Use your drill to make four to eight small holes in the cap. The more holes you drill, the faster the water will drip out.

  3. 3

    Bury one-third to one-half of the bottle upside down by the plant you want to water. Press dirt around it and it and fill it with water.

    Right-side-up plastic bottle

  1. 1

    Drill small holes in the bottom of a clean, two-quart plastic bottle or jug. These holes should be just large enough to let the water leach slowly into the soil without clogging.

  2. 2

    Put small rocks in the bottom of the bottle to give it stability. Fill the jug with water and screw the top back on.

  3. 3

    Put the bottom of the jug near the plant you want to water

    Plastic garden hose

  1. 1

    Drill or poke holes in an old or cheap garden hose. Space the holes to match the plants you want to water.

  2. 2

    Cut scraps of fabric into strips and place them around the holes. This will help control the speed of the drip.

  3. 3

    Cap the end of the hose and turn the water on low when you want to water the plants.

Tips and warnings

  • You should experiment with the size of the holes to get the water to drip the way you want it.
  • The use of single bottles or jugs is best to drip-irrigate isolated flowers or other plants. The hose method is better for rows of plants such as in a vegetable garden.

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