Deck Irrigation System

How To Have Beautiful Pots and Planters, Even If You’re a Forgetful Waterer

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Truth be told I’m not really a deck person. I prefer a patio, where you’re really sitting “in” the garden. My house came with a deck. We did a bit of a redesign on it, opened it up and tried to make it feel a bit more like it was part of the garden, and not just a big dock like structure, but with no beautiful lake. Part of connecting it to the garden more has been by adding lots of pretty pots of flowers and green up the stairs, and onto the deck space. I start out strong. In late May, and June I have lovely pots and fairy gardens full of potential. But then, I get busy, and it gets hot, and bad things sometimes happen. You know what I’m talking about. Do they really need to be watered every single day, what if I go away for a few days, what if I forget? The plants shrivel up and die. So sad, but so true.

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I’ve been eyeing a deck irrigation system for a couple of years in the Lee Valley catalogue. You know how dangerous this catalogue is, you discover lots of stuff that you never even knew existed and that now you NEED. Their stuff is really good quality, and they really stand behind their products. I once returned something I’d used for a year that broke and they gladly refunded my money. That being said, their stuff isn’t cheap. The irrigation system basic kit is $50 and the timer is $50. I finally decided this year to for it. $100 bucks later I was ready to install this bad boy.

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It is really simple to instal yourself (especially if your husband does it for you -Thanks Baby). You start out connecting the main tubing to your outlet, and by using a “Y” you can still use your regular garden hose too, with a little on/off switch. You install your timer here too. We set ours to 8 min., everyday of the week, at 7 am. It’s rained a lot here lately, so we may still need to tweak it later, but it seems really easy to switch, including a manual override, and the ability to override the timer and switch it off if it’s raining. You can set it for up to 3 times a day, for a duration of 1 min and up, and for any day/days of the week. I liked how easy it was to set, and how customizable it is.

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After the timer, the large hose runs around the perimeter of the deck. There are some little clips you can screw into the deck to secure it. They suggest attaching it underneath, and they’re easy to install elbows for the corners. We ran ours around the sides, and under the stairs.

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You then attach littler hoses that end with the drip heads in your pots. Based on your pot set-up, you determine where you want to make a connection, poke a hole in the large tubing, and use a connector to attach the smaller tubing. It takes a little hand strength to push in the connectors, but overall is pretty simple.

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One the end of the small tubing you push in the drip irrigation head, and use the spike on the bottom to anchor it in the soil of your pot. That’s it.

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The only tricky part is that in order for larger pots to get enough water, and smaller pots not too much, the larger pots will need several heads in them. Our biggest pots have three in them. You could solve this problem by using pots that were the same size.

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The tubing and hoses are not completely hidden. This might bother some people. I don’t mind a little spaghetti junction from behind, since I know it means my flowers won’t die this year. This life is all about give and take. We probably could have done a bit of a better job of hiding our tubes, and made them a bit shorter so they won’t stick out so much. I don’t really mind since it’s all at the back anyway. Also, once the plants grow and fill in more, it won’t be as noticeable. When I see the hoses, I just see the work I don’t have to do anymore. 😉

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I’ll let you know how it all worked out at the end of the season in August, but so far, I think it was worth the investment. The system is also supposed to be able to stay outside over the winter, you just use an air compressor to blow out all the water and make sure the lines are completely empty so they don’t freeze and burst. In the spring, you just hook it up to the hose again, and you’re back in business.

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On another note, I went out to take a few more pics of the system this morning, and noticed that my girls two big fairy garden planters had been vandalized. Maybe a chipmunk or something had dug up the middle of their gardens in the night, there was dirt all over, and their little fairy houses were tipped over and dirty. Not sure why they’d be digging here? This is the second time in just a few weeks. I fixed up the gardens, replanted the moss, and set up the houses and pathways again, and added lots of cracked ground pepper, hoping that might keep what ever it was, out. Any ideas? Here’s hoping they don’t like the pepper.

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With an irrigation system so you don’t have to worry about watering pots and planters all summer, life really is a party!

This post is linked up at Craftberry Bush.

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  1. thismomloves says:

    I’m a terrible waterer and should be on board with your irrigation system, but what has really inspired me is the first photo with the little fairy houses in the planters. Mom made a fairy garden for the girls at her place, but it didn’t even occur to me to spice up our planters at home as well. Thanks, and congrats on making the SavvyMom list!

  2. Hi Kate, Thanks so much for your comments, and congrats to you on making the SavvyMom list as well!

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