Greenhouse How-To Blog

Growing in the Greenhouse

Automatic Irrigation for Worry-Free Vacations!

basil in patina potSummer is here and the time for vacations and weekend getaways has arrived!

Beautiful weather on the horizon means your plants will be receiving a healthy amount of sun from Mother Nature, but it also means that there’s likely no chance for her to do your watering for you, opening the door for catastrophe in the greenhouse.

All that light and heat that made your plants so happy in the winter will now be working against you, and the plants that you have cared so diligently for can start to swoon like a southern belle if not watered every day.

A good soaking right before you go can sometimes get your plants through several days of dry weather. However, in the summer, a greenhouse can be punishing for plants and without a close eye on your soil moisture, you could end up with some fatalities upon returning home from that camping trip to The Smokies you do every year.

There are some very simple watering systems that can take the pressure off your plants and give you peace of mind. A drip irrigation system that relies on a battery-powered timer could be all you need to keep everyone happy and hydrated.

greenhouse kitYou can find micro-irrigation supplies in many places but one of our favorites is The Drip Store, at Dripirrigation.com. They have kits designed specifically for greenhouse gardening ranging from entry-level to more advanced systems.

Pro Tip: Automate your system by using a simple timer.
orbit digital timer
We suggest an Orbit digital timer or something similar that allows you to set the frequency and duration of watering. It is basic but will do the job. For about $80.00, a hose, and less than two hours of time, you’ll have the freedom to leave your plants in the competent care of a watering system for weeks.

For those of you who only have a few spigots to cover a relatively large space,  with some basic ingenuity through the use of hoses and PVC, you can create separate zones for your greenhouse, vegetable garden, that dry sunny bank that has been transformed into a pollinator buffet for bees and butterflies, and your the native plant perimeter along the property line.

Faucet adapterHow? Simply use a hose splitter. You can use one hose for the greenhouse, one to cover the soaker hoses in the veggie garden, one for the soaker hoses on the perimeter and the pollinator buffet, and the last to handle your pots on the deck. The lawn? Well, until you can convince your husband or wife that it is not an environmentally wise choice, it just has to go brown in the summer.

So there you have it! Take some time off, and take care of your plants at the same time.

Happy Gardening!

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