Install an Inexpensive Home Garden Drip Irrigation System

Being successful with a deck container garden in the brutal Texas heat is tough. I’m convinced, that without my inexpensive drip irrigation system, my plants would just wither and blow away. I’m also very grateful that it was easy to install my home garden irrigation system, simple to maintain and quite inexpensive. The planter boxes irrigation is going well, plants are all growing well and starting to produce – although not at the level that would seem to make this anything more than a hobby. I’m still not sure of the tricks needed to fine tune a drip irrigation system for container garden to reach a steady volume of enough to put food on the table.

Being successful with a deck container garden and drip irrigation system in the brutal Texas heat is tough.

I’m convinced, that without my inexpensive drip irrigation system, my plants would just wither and blow away.  I’m also very grateful that it was easy to install my home garden drip irrigation system, simple to maintain and quite inexpensive.  The planter boxes irrigation is going well, plants are all growing well and starting to produce – although not at the level that would seem to make this anything more than a hobby.  I’m still not sure of the tricks needed to fine tune a drip irrigation system for container garden to reach a steady volume of enough to put food on the table.

Drip Irrigation System Planter Boxes

Irrigation Planter Box Cucumber Flowers
Drip Irrigation System for Deck and Containers Cucumber Flowers

The cucumber plants love the plant cage in their container garden.  They are flowering prolifically and producing small cucumbers consistently.  I only have a total 10 vines in the pot – 5 of each variety – and still some perform very well and others do not perform very well.  I’m unsure why this might be or whether or not it’s related to my drip irrigation system.

Planter Boxes Irrigation Cucumber
Irrigation Planter Box Cucumber

I had a number of early cucumbers make and removed all except one.  This cucumber appears to have done well for a short period of time but then run out of something – not sure what – that it needed to produce a full sized fruit.  One of the emitters was actually over watering the vines so I don’t think it was lack of water from the drip irrigation system.  I have no way to test the content or value of the soil though so I’m operating in the dark there.  I suspect that I might not have enough soild for the plants.

Drip System Tomatoes
Drip Irrigation System Planter Box Tomatoes

The cherry tomatoes are doing well enough.  Once I allowed them to flower and produce fruit they seemed to take off and get busy.  I expect these plants to ripen quickly and the plant to continue to grow.  The soil appears dry in this picture but this year I’ve been very careful to direct the emitters right onto the plant stalk and roots to minimize the amount of water I use from the drip irrigation system.

Patio Variety Planter Boxes Irrigation Tomato
Patio Variety Drip Irrigation System for Deck and Containers

The patio variety tomatoes are going gang busters!  I find it very interesting that this plant is still no taller than about 24 inches and the main stalk is very thick.  I’m quite impressed with this variety and anxious to see how they taste.  The plant seems optimal for a container garden in that it requires very little water from the rain drip irrigation system, nor does it need much maintenance and is starting to get heavy with young tomato plants.

Yellow Pear Tomato in Drip Systems for Deck and Containers
Yellow Pear Tomato in Installed Home Garden Drip Irrigation System

The yellow pear tomatoes are interesting.  They appear to be very slow to mature.  There are a ton of young fruits on the plant and the plant is very viney, not very compact at all.  The young tomatoes have been on the vine for about two weeks and have yet to run yellow, as expected when they are mature.

Drip System for Deck and Container Cowhorn Peppers
Drip Irrigation System for Deck and Container Cowhorn Peppers

The cowhorn peppers seem to love the planter box and the irrigation system.  They continue to grow heartily and mature quickly.  I haven’t picked any yet but plan to within a week or so.  I expect these make a pretty good chili relleno.

Jalapenos from Planter Box Irrigation
Jalapenos from Drip Irrigation System for Container Gardens

The jalapenos have really come along in the past few weeks.  The overall plant size has not increased very much but the peppers are very abundant.  This pepper plant, like the cowhorn pepper, seem to require very little water from the drip irrigagtion system or much maintenance – making it a great candidate for a container garden.  I’m beginning to think that a big part of the success of a deck container garden is in the accurate selection of proper species and varieties to thrive in a planter box.

Planter Box Strawberry in Drip Systems for Deck and Containers
Planter Box Strawberry in Inexpensive Drip Irrigation System

My youngest is thrilled – her strawberry plant produced a strawberry.  This plant is behaving almost exactly like the plant from last year – which was generally a failure – by producing only a few small fruits.  I think strawberries are best left to the folks who know what they are doing.

Planter Boxes Irrigation Fertilizer
Drip Irrigation System Planter Box Fertilizer

I began adding fertilizer three weeks ago and it seems to work well in conjunction with the irrigation system.  I like Medina Hasta Grow liquid because it works well in my liquid fertilizer feeder, it has a built in measuring cup and pours and mixes easily.

Inexpensive Drip Irrigation System Fertilizer Feeder

Planter Boxes Irrigation Fertilizer System
Fertilizer System for Irrigation Planter Box

I use a liquid injection fertilizer feeder that adds a fertilizer mixture directly into the drip irrigation system water line.  You can vary the volume settings, it requires little or no maintenance, works consistently well and fits easily into my budget for an inexpensive drip irrigation system. I highly recommend this fertilizer feeder if you install home garden irrigation system.  It takes a little experimentation to find the right settings so that fertilizer is fed evenly during the week without running out.

Fertilizer Feed Setting from Planter Boxes Irrigation
Fertilizer Feed Setting from Install Home Garden Irrigation System

And the fertilizer feeder works great until it doesn’t work.  The first week, it fed exactly zero fertilizer.  I didn’t do any maintenance over the winter, in fact, just left it on the deck, and I suspect that something is clogged up.  I changed the feed setting from minimum to maximum to see if that made a difference.

Empty Fertilizer Feeder from Planter Boxes Irrigation
Drip Systems for Deck and Containers Empty Fertilizer Feeder

Changing the flow setting on the fertilizer feeder didn’t make a difference – nothing changed over the week so there is still some sort of problem.  When I filled it initially, I just added fertilizer to the water already in the fertilizer feeder.  This week, I completely emptied all of the water to see if the drip irrigation system will fill it like it is supposed to.

Install Home Garden Drip Irrigation System Emitters

I suspected that my emitters in the planter boxes might be having problems and the video shows that one of them was flowing far greater than it should.  I still have some extra emitters left from when I install home garden drip irrigation system.  All of the other emitters are flowing nicely at 0.5 GPH.  I use one emitter per plant and direct the drip flow right onto where the plant stalk meets the dirt.  The emitters are a challenge to change in that they are difficult to remove from the hose.  I think the tradeoff of being hard to remove versus popping off very easily under pressure is a good one.  I had some problem last year with loose emitters that popped off and water would spray every where – the dogs liked it but it wasn’t really what I wanted.

Planter Boxes Irrigation System Timer
Inexpensive Drip Irrigation System Timer

The Texas heat has climbed into the 100s every day and the plants are looking a bit sickly.  I increased the watering duration from 5 minutes twice daily to 10 minutes twice daily to provide them with more water in this brutal heat.  We’ve also had little or no rain in the past nine months and the general environment is probably sucking water from any place it can be found – including plant leaves.

Soil Thermometer for Irrigation Planter Box
Soil Thermometer for Drip Irrigation System for Container Gardens

The plants continued to look sickly so I got out my soil thermometer to test soil temperature again.  I had this problem last year and then built plant shade boxes to help minimize the heat transfer and reflection from the deck onto the plant containers.  Nevertheless, when I tested the soil temperature, it was 98 degrees at 7PM in the evening.

Soil Thermometer for Drip Systems for Deck and Containers
Soil Thermometer for Drip Irrigation System for Container Gardens

In contrast, the soil temperature on the ground off the deck was a mere 82 degrees.  Even thought the plant shades looked like a good idea, I don’t think they are performing as intended with the drip irrigagtion system.  I wish I’d waited a bit to further test the prototype before building out all of them.

Trusty Helper Cooling Off in Planter Boxes Irrigation
Trusty Helper Cooling Off in Drip Irrigation System for Container Gardens

Gardening by yourself is not nearly as much fun as gardening with a helper.  It’s brutally hot in Texas so we provide our helpers with an easy way to jump in a cool off.  This actually started me to thinking about a new approach for next year – rain water collection and drip irrigation system.

I’m learning a ton and having fun.  I’ve learned that some plant species and varieties perform much better than other so plant selection is important to be able to thrive and produce in the tougher conditions we have on the deck.  Rather than trying to modify too much to accommodate the environment, I’m going to think more carefully about adapting to the environment I have.  I also think I may branch out next year into a raised bed garden but want to couple that with a rain water collection and drip irrigation system so that it doesn’t require water that I purchase.

Drip Irrigation System Deals & Discount

I get my supplies for my drip irrigation system for deck and containers from a specialist who has great products and great deals.  This week, they are offering some amazing discounts and free shipping.


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Drip Irrigation and Shades for the Container Garden

Texas Heat and Drip Systems for Decks and Containers

The deck container garden is coming along nicely.  It’s been quite hot and dry in Central Texas and the drip system for deck and containers that I use has been very helpful.  Every plant, except the strawberries, has a planter box irrigation emitter and has bloomed.  For container gardening, should they bloom this early/young and should I allow them to keep their blooms?  Even through the dry weather, the drip system for decks and containers that I use for planter box irrigation has continued to be set on 5 minutes twice daily and the soil moisture appears to be sufficient.  I don’t have anything to test the soil moisture in the irrigation planter boxes but it appears to be OK.

Early Blooms in the Planter Boxes with Drip Irrigation

Container Gardening Cucumber with Blooms
Cucumbers Blooming in an Irrigation Planter Box

The cucumbers were the first plants in the container garden to begin blooming.  Some of the blooms even progressed far enough to start little cucumbers.  I’ve read that cucumbers will start blooming first.  Since this is supposed to be a high volume/space deck garden, I think it is more important for the plants to invest in size rather than reproduction at this point.  I have a fertilizer feeder for the irrigation system but have not yet added any fertilizer to the mixture – the plants are receiving tap water only at this point.

Container Garden Tomato Plant Blooming
Tomato Plant Blooming using Drip System for Deck and Containers

Then, within a day or so, the cherry tomatoes started blooming as well.  This is going to be a great cherry tomato plant when it matures but I think it is still too young to spend its energy on blooms and reproducing.  In the past, I’ve been told that container gardening or changing the water schedule for a plant pot can cause plant blooming.  The water schedule has not changed and there has been no rain to speak of.

Plant Pot Tomato Plant Blooms
Tomato Plant Blooms in Irrigation Planter Box

Even the small variety patio tomato plan start producing blooms.  In fact, it produced the most blooms of all.  Sure it is too early and young for beginning to produce fruit.  I use a drip system for decks and containers in this container garden for all of the plants in the garden and they all receive the same amount of water at the same time and frequency.

Container Garden Tomato Blooms
Tomato Blooms using Drip Systems for Deck and Containers

Actually, I’m kind of impressed with the close up quality of these pictures.  Each planter box irrigation setup in the deck garden has one one gallon per hour emitter dedicated to it.  This is a picture of the blooms on the patio variety tomato plant, which is dramatically shorter but stockier than the traditional variety tomato plants.  Nevertheless, each tomato plan is receiving the same amount of water from the drip irrigation system.

Container Garden Tomato Blooms
Tomato Blooms in an Irrigation Plant Pot

The yellow tomato plant pot was the last plant to produce blooms.  This tomato plant is also a cherry variety but has yellow tomatoes instead of red ones.  This tomato plant is the thirstiest of all of the plants.

Blooming Pepper Plants in a Container Garden
Blooming Pepper Plants Using Planter Box Irrigation

Even the pepper plants started blooming.  All of the plants in planter boxes in the container garden receive the same amount of water from the drip irrigation system and are planted in identical containers.  Nevertheless, I rigorously hunted and plucked each of the blooms on a weekly basis.

New and More Shades to Protect Soil Moisture for the Irrigated Planter Boxes

Deck Garden with Drip Irrigation System
Deck Garden with Drip System for Deck and Containers

The plant box shade that I built as a pilot project seem to be working well.  Additionally, the Texas Summer heat is starting and I want to avoid the soil temperature problems I had last summer.  So, I built out the balance of the planter box shades and installed them on each plant box.  The plant box shades are only three sided to avoid any problems or interference with the drip irrigation system for decks and containers that runs on the back side of each plant box.

Plant Cage Detail for Container Gardening
Irrigation Planter Box Cages

We also have a deck shade, not for the plants, for the dogs, and my wife noticed that the plant cages were too tall to accommodate the shade.  It’s getting hot enough now that the dogs need more shade and the kiddie wading pool to keep cool during the long hot Texas Summer.  It also helps the gardener while container gardening.  So, it was time to trim back the plant cages.  It was easy enough because I had the foresight to use hose clamps to hold the plant box cages together so it was a simple matter of moving the hose clamps downward approximately twelve inches and then trimming the tops of the cages. The cages are mounted high so they also don’t interfere with the planter box irrigation.

Irrigated Deck Container Garden
Deck Garden with Drip Systems for Deck and Containers

Here, the plant cages for the container garden have been trimmed and the planter box shades have been installed.  Both the shades and the cages avoid any interference with the drip irrigation system for the container garden on the deck.

Shade for Planter Boxes
Container Gardening Shade to Cover Irrigation Planter Boxes

The deck shade has been install and the dogs now have a cool place on the deck and the shade won’t get torn up on the ragged tops of the plant cages.  It’s interesting to note that I had this same shade last year but it did not prevent the planter boxes from overheating.  I’m betting on the plant box shades to prevent overheating this year.  I haven’t yet measured the soil temperature with a soil thermometer but will do so prior to my next post.

The Irrigated Planter Boxes Flower

Drip System Cucumbers in a Plant Pot
Cucumbers in an Irrigation Planter Box

The cucumbers continue to grow and flower.  Since the plants have been planted 9 weeks, I’ve decided to let them flower and product fruit to see what happens.  I’d prefer that they be larger before producing but will experiment to see what happens.  I expect that I will need to increase the watering cycle in the irrigation for planter boxes soon to accommodate this change in growth and the smaller planter boxes I use in container gardening.

Deck Container Tomato Garden
Deck Container Tomatoes in a Planter Box with Irrigation

The cherry tomatoes have continued flowering as well.  This is a smaller plant than the yellow tomato plant but seems to produce denser blooms.  I double checked the planter box irrigation emitters to make sure this plant was receiving the same amount of water as the others.

Deck Container Tomato Plant
Tomato Planter in Planter Box with Drip System for Deck and Containers

The patio variety tomato plant does not seem to require a container garden plant cage for it’s plant pot.  It’s stem is very thick and strong and it’s branches are short and dense.  It will be interesting to compare this plant to the other tomato plants in terms of production as well as drip irrigation water usage.

Deck Container Caged Tomatoes
Container Garden Caged Tomatoes with Irrigation Planter Box

The yellow cherry tomato plant is the fastest grower of the bunch.  It’s stem and branches are slimmer but does not seem to use any more drip system water than the other plants.

Pepper Plant in a Deck Planter Box
Container Garden Pepper Plant in a Planter Box with Drip Irrigation

The pepper plants are going gang busters.  In one case, I already have a very small pepper already.  This planter box has two planter box irrigation emitters to provide one for each plant in the box.

Strawberry in a Planter Box
Strawberry in Deck Garden with Planter Box Irrigation

The strawberry plant continues to lag the field in the container garden.  It does show some growth but not very much.  The soil appears to be quite dry but the drip irrigation emitter is sitting directly on top of the root system and all of the water from the irrigation system is going directly to the plant’s roots

Drip Irrigation System Deals & Discount

I get my supplies for my drip system for deck and containers from a specialist who has great products and great deals.  This week, they are offering some amazing discounts and free shipping.



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