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Balcony plant waterer

I finally reached a critical mass of various plants, flowers, and succulents on my apartment balcony that required multiple trips to the sink when I needed to water them. While browsing the hardware store I was eyeing the garden drip irrigation systems and thought why not? Originally I wanted to use some sort of a jug which I could fill with water from the bathtub and then gravity feed out to my plants. I didn’t find anything off-the-shelf I could use and shelved the idea. Later I was at Harbor Freight and picked up a cheap 12V submersible pump with the intent to make a little fountain for the garden. I apparently got a defective panel because the one included didn’t do anything when I plugged in the pump. Fortunately I was going to hook the pump to my existing balcony setup anyways, so no loss.

Eventually the idea came to me to use a Tidy Cat litter jug and this submersible pump to water my flowers. I go through litter every few weeks and the jugs are sturdy plastic with a hinged lid and handle, and designed to hold 38 pounds of clay, so perfect for lugging water outside. I took the pump to the hardware store and found that its outlet slipped perfectly into 1/2″ garden sprinkler tubing. I had no idea how I’d wind up using it so I settled on using a 1/2″ tubing to connect the pump to a tee up outside of the jug. From there it split off to feed a pair of manifolds, which broke out into 1/4″ connectors for feed lines. When I want to refill the jugs, I lift the tube out and take the pump out, leaving it behind.

Each flowerpot has a 1 gallon per hour drip fitting and the planters have 2-3 drip fittings. There’s plenty of pressure to push water along, even with 1/4″ tubing going upwards. However, it’s not automated at all at this point. I still have to plug in the motor for several minutes to water the plants, which still beats going back and forth to the sink. I do have an OpenSprinkler controller I bought at Maker Faire that I’ll likely try next. This will let me automate watering and maybe not have to think about it. My plants have shown an amazing comeback after getting good watering!

One Response to “Balcony plant waterer”

  1. bwann says:

    test test test

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