Drip Irrigation System w Recycled Bottles

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drip irrigation system

What to do when we go for a week vacation and we can’t water our potted plants??? Like my 450 basil baby plants that I’m nurturing at present??!! The folks from Provident Living have the answer: make your own drip irrigation system. This, is worthy of further investigation and indeed, extensive experimentation!

Sub – (drip) Irrigation System Benefits

The benefits of this particular irrigation systems are manifold:

1. the water goes straight to the roots and isn’t wasted on watering the plants’ foliage instead.

2. the drip irrigation method helps your plants to learn to live with little water and thrive in this way.

3. the reservoirs, i.e. the recycled plastic bottles, are easy to refill, so you are not going to ask your neighbors too much when asking for some help with watering your plants.

4.this ‘system’ is easy to build. It is in fact no more and no less than a recycled right-side up 2-ltr. plastic drinks bottle with 2 holes punched in the sides and 2 in the bottom. Plant it deep next to your plants you wish to water.

5. Last but not least, I love the recycling aspect of the system.

In one word: ideal.


Tip: by screwing the caps back onto the bottles after refilling, the water is released slower.

Experiment and find out what works best for your watering needs. There are many variables, such as the density of the soil, the size of the holes, etc. It takes a bit of trial and error to get it to work for you. After that,.. there’s no going back without.

source / image credit: http://www.providentliving.org.nz/gardening/bottle-drip-irrigation/

Drip Irrigation System

Just in case it’s not going to work out for you, here are a couple of different drip irrigation system kits, all for < $50, some for as low as $15. Not saying to give up on DIY projects using recycled materials, but these irrigation systems are more suitable for larger yards. Let me highlight a few great garden watering products in particular, that I know you are going to be happy with:

1. Rain Bird GRDNER-KIT Landscape Dripline System Gardener-Foots Drip Starter Kit

This is a complete drip irrigation system that Waters a 75 square foot area. It’s an all-in-one drip system that includes emitter tubing. This drip irrigation system provides everything you need to apply emitter tubing in garden areas and spot watering to widely spaced plants. It conforms to your landscaped area and people are generally raving about the product. It’s a good kit to get started. It is more suitable to a general garden area, rather than a veggy garden. This drip-line irrigation system works sort of like a soaker hose. It’s not the sort that has an emitter for each plant, but for a single 50′ line or a twin line of up to 25′. So for veggy gardens, consider this one instead:

2. The Best Drip Irrigation System for Vegetable Garden: Vegetable Garden Drip Tape Irrigation Kit K007
This one is supplied by the DripStore and the kit includes all the fittings & accessories needed to install 15 rows of drip irrigation in a vegetable garden. This vegetable garden irrigation system can accommodate a flow rate of up to 260 GPH (5 GPM), using the 500′ of 15-mil drip tape. You can use this kit to water all types of vegetable plants with 8″ to 12″ spacing.


3. One fantastic benefit of a ‘traditional’ irrigation system is that you get to add a watering timer. Needless to point out that this is really useful: you can water your plants at the right times and at the right intervals. One of the best timers out there is this one:

It is the Orbit 62061N-91213 Single-Dial Water Timer.

Talking about garden irrigation systems, I want to also show you this excellent irrigation system for up to 20 houseplants allowing you to go on vacation all summer (40 days) or to year-round have very little watering care for your houseplants. Claber 8053 Oasis 4-Programs/20 Plants Garden Automatic Drip Watering System
It’s mostly intended for inhouse use, be creative with its outdoor use as well. This drip irrigation system is the thing to get to maintain your plants on a covered porch or in a sun room, lush and carefree.
It looks like this:

With this irrigation system you don’t need to buy a watering timer. It waters your plants twice daily to deliver 4-ounce, 2-ounce, 1.5-ounce or 1-ounce of water per dripper. Excellent, nah?!

Vertical Gardening

Want to do more with recycled plastic bottles? Try making a vertical vegetable garden. These pictures / video will expand your horizon… and your food supply. Fresh herbs daily, why not?! Even if you live on a high rise. Check out Vertical gardening using recycled plastic bottles.

Learn More About Drip Irrigation Systems

This is a very helpful book for gardeners who want to actually install a drip irrigation system themselves.

Learn to Grow Your Own Organics

Eager to learn how grow an abundance of organic food with a minimum of work? For a method that is easy-to-understand & reliable: Click Here! It is developed by Environmental Scientist and Horticulturalist, Jonathan White. He sets out his instructions in an 80 page book, a 60-minute video, and a bonus project plan, i.e. everything to set you up right.

Now, all you’ll need is soil, water and seeds to begin…

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!


  1. The plant-pot irrigation system on this site is great too. I use it to water my vegetable plants, in full sunlight, with liquid nutrients from my drum or compost ‘tea’.

  2. What an excellent idea. Watering is always a problem here, whether I’m home or not. I’m going to give it a try!

  3. If you are concerned about the plastic leaching, use glass bottles, filled and turned upside down. All of my newly planted shrubs and container gardens have an upside down wine or rum bottle :)

  4. Fine Craft Guild says:

    Funny you should mention that! I AM concerned about the plastic near food plants! Did you make any holes into your bottles, or you’re doing the upside down burying with the whole opening open?

  5. Myrtle Hancock says:

    I love this post and hope to use it this spring and summer. Thank YOU!

  6. what size holes? like pinholes?

  7. It depends! Some plants need more water than others. All climates are different. Start with tiny holes so you’ll get just a bare trickle. And gradually enlarge it till it is ‘just right’.

  8. Rob, Rag618@aol.com says:

    When I do this, the water just empties right out of the container into the soil. I have yet to figure out how to prevent that. Rather than slow drip its just pouring out. Any suggestions? And the holes are rather small, like a nail size.

  9. Yes, Rob. You are right. You have to keep the holes tiny and pointed in the right direction, i.e. towards the plant. It takes a bit of experimenting with the size of the holes vs. the type of plastic. Nail-size is about right, from my experience. Also, the type of (density) of the soil has an impact: thick clay is very different from light and airy store-bought top soil – potting mix….

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