Greenhouse How-To Blog

Growing in the Greenhouse

Automatic Irrigation = Worry-free Vacations!

basil in patina potSummer is here, and the time for vacations and weekend getaways has arrived. Many people have automatic irrigation systems in their yards, but if not a good soaking right before you go can usually get your plants through several days of dry weather.

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

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 my favorites is The Drip Store, at They have kits designed specifically for greenhouse gardening ranging from basic to deluxe.

You can automate your system by adding a battery operated digital timer.
orbit digital timer
I purchased an Orbit digital timer that allows me 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 2 hours of my time, I have the freedom to leave my plants in the competent care of my watering system for weeks.

One last tip – I have only three spigots to cover my ½ acre lot. With some creative use of hoses and pvc, I’ve managed to cover separate zones for the greenhouse, my vegetable garden, the dry sunny bank that has been transformed into a pollinator buffet for bees and butterflies, and the native plant perimeter along the property line.
Faucet adapter
How? This lovely little gizmo! One hose for the greenhouse, one covers the soaker hoses in the veggie garden, one covers the soaker hoses on the perimeter and the pollinator buffet, and the last one handles my pots on the deck. The lawn? Well, until I can convince my husband 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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