How to make homemade drip irrigation systems

Updated November 21, 2016

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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


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.

Things You'll Need

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