If you’re already tired of watering those containers on your deck or patio, install a drip irrigation system. Summer containers thirst for drip irrigation. Because we have more than twenty containers on our back deck, we used two kits from our local box store when we installed our drip system.
- A drip irrigation kit
- Backflow regulator
- Garden hose with a brass Y-connector for strength
- Battery operated timer
- Filter to keep sediment out of the system
- Drip emitters in various sizes and flow rates.
The timer is essential because, believe me, you’ll forget to turn on the water. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to turn on mine over the years. Summer sun is unforgiving and will kill plants faster than you think. I explain how to install a drip system for containers step-by-step in The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff. Right now, the book is a steal on Amazon.
More summer garden tips:
- Use large containers. The whiskey barrel, above, is ideal.
- Fertilize now with a balanced, organic fertilizer. You can use a manure or compost tea, or you can sprinkle dry organic fertilizer on top of potting soil. Containers leach out nutrients because they are watered every day–sometimes, twice a day.
- Pick any fruit as soon as possible to keep plants bearing and disease free.
- Place compost or other biodegradable mulch at the base of plants to keep roots cool and comfortable.
- Stake or tie up any vegetables wandering onto the ground beneath your containers to prevent damage and disease.
- Watch our for insects. Caterpillars and worms are very likely mid-summer. So are striped potato beetles. Frass is an indication that problems are afoot.
I hope these tips keep your containers happy for the rest of the summer. Install drip irrigation for best results.