Not great at remembering to water plants....

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by H0llies, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. H0llies

    H0llies Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi

    I've many a time bought a potted plant but then forgotten to water it - have gone away for a few days and then just forgot when I got back.

    I'm ready to give gardening a proper go now and I am going to try to grow some vegetables in plant pots, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs and also some flowers from tubes.

    I've seen some irrigation systems and I think this would be a good idea -especially for when I have to go away for a few days.

    Could I have some recommendations for good reliable products, and maybe something with a timer? Maybe something which can be hooked up to a water but rather than come off the mains?
     
  2. Kristen

    Kristen Under gardener

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    I've known them referred to as "irritation" systems because of hassle if they get blocked etc. On nurseries that have "drippers" for large plants for sale, in pots (e.g. tress) they typically have two drippers per plant, in case one blocks. Drippers come in different sizes/rates, so easy to choose according to plant size (although my view is that a single circuit with all the drippers of the same size/rate works better than a mixed circuit - so two-per-big-plant better than one-fast-one)

    Drippers is the most common way to go for individual plants - e.g. if you have pots on a terrace. My preference is for Leaky / Soaker hose; I use that down a row of vegetables, but also for individual plants where I make a circle (or double-circle if it needs a lot of water) and then connect with a TEE to the distribution pipe. Leaky hose doesn't block ... but mice eat it from time to time. I originally put mine underneath weed membrane so everything was hidden away and looked smart ... but then if there was a problem I had no idea it was there until some plants suffered, or I saw a flood where water was pouring out! so now I put the pipes on the surface.

    There are also timers available that will "open" the valve to provide water on a schedule, and (if you need them) devices that will do individual circuits in rotation (i.e. where your water pressure is not enough to do everything at once, and you want X minutes for Circuit 1 followed by Circuit 2)

    If you just want something for a weekend-away there are much more simple solutions available - such as a 2L pop bottle with a small hole in the bottom.

    Dripper "kits" look like this

    [​IMG]

    Top row is filter, tap connector, and junctions
    2nd row is Stake (to mount dripper on), bungs, clamps to attach pipe to e.g. wall, and a terminating bung, and big hook to hold pipe down to the ground
    3rd row is yellow "punch" that makes hole in big hose to push a fitting into, and then push-fit Tee and Straight joins
    bottom row is skinny hose for each plant and thicker hose for "distribution"

    and then some drippers:
    [​IMG]

    Leaky hose
    [​IMG]

    Leaky hose Ring and Tee
    [​IMG]
     
  3. H0llies

    H0llies Apprentice Gardener

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    Thank you so much for your reply. So helpful and much appreciated.
     
  4. ricky101

    ricky101 Total Gardener

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    You can get all the above that @Kristen mentions with battery operated mains water timers and then spend some considerable time setting them all up at a particular drip rate etc.

    In that sense they work, given the time and attention.

    However for your plants, in the soil or in pots ? if you are going to become a keen gardener you will be going out to check the plants daily and therefore water them as well, if needed.
    The plants need for water varies as they grow so a dip system can over water, under water or waste water all too easily.

    Most established plants in the soil can readily go a couple of days without water, so even if you can go out in these lockdown weeks, it should not be a problem; as the plants get bigger and stronger, so their roots can search out water in the soil more easily.

    If you are that busy or forgetful, set an alarm clock on your phone etc at a time in the morning or evening to remind you to water.

    Gardening is about taking the time to tend the plants, enjoying the outdoors and relaxing.
     
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    • Kristen

      Kristen Under gardener

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      You make a very important point. I have loads of largely automated irrigation, but plenty that is manual. For the manual I am seeing the plants, up-close, when I'm doing that and much more likely to notice that, "since yesterday", they are being eaten to bits, or looking unhealthy/whatever.

      For the automated-irrigation ones I have an inspection walk-around ... of course its for my enjoyment of the garden too and includes - "Wow! That wasn't in flower yesterday :)" or more likely "*expletive* weeds"!, but I'm doing the same eaten-to-death or looking-poorly checks as I go.
       
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