Like all living things, plants depend on a regular and adequate supply of water. This applies in particular to balcony plants and thus to potted plants, since in an emergency they cannot take care of themselves via their root system. Watering in the morning and often during the hot summer months is therefore essential. Automatic irrigation can help you do this and take a lot of work off your hands – and also let you go on vacation without worrying about helping neighbors or friends.
DIY irrigation with bottles and other tools
The most cost-effective way is to work with simple systems in which you insert the water reservoir directly into the substrate of the potted plants and they gradually release the precious water to the roots. You can use plain PET or glass bottles with solid walls (important! Bottles with flexible walls do not work!), Which you fill with water and then simply put upside down in the pre-watered substrate. So that not too much water runs out at once, you can leave the cap on the bottle, but of course you have to perforate it. Instead, screw-on irrigation cones made of clay or plastic can also be used, which also reduce water discharge. Irrigation balls, which are usually made of glass or clay, work according to a similar functional principle.
The bathtub principle
If you have a lot of smaller pots on your balcony that need to be taken care of during a short absence, you can place them in the bathtub, which is lined with thick towels and about five centimeters high with water, without a pot. If you don’t have a bathtub, a paddling pool or other large enough container serves the same purpose. Instead of towels, you can also place the pots in plant granules (e.g. perlite) and moisten them with water. The granulate stores a lot of water and at the same time offers the advantage that the roots of the plants are not directly wet. However, be careful not to put the plants directly in the blazing sun. Instead, they should be shaded so that less water is used.
Make drip irrigation for the balcony yourself
A permanent solution, however, is self-made drip irrigation, which works without an extra power and water connection. All you need is a sufficiently large water tank (at least 300 liters capacity), standard garden hoses that can be connected to each other and suitable irrigation cones (from Blumat, for example).
How to build the system:
– Install the water tank at a higher level than the plants to be watered
– Optimally, it stands about 50 to 100 centimeters higher than the planters.
– If possible, use a rain barrel with water connection in the lower area.
– Connect the garden hose here.
– Connect the individual tubes together so that each planter has its own.
– Prepare the irrigation cones as described in the instructions.
– Put them in the substrate and connect the hoses.
If the system runs smoothly, you only need to replenish the water reservoir regularly.
Submersible pumps do not only work with an external power connection. Instead, you can also use solar or battery-powered versions.