Watering & Irrigation

How to Make a Homemade Garden Irrigation System

Irrigation systems don’t have to be fancy and they don’t have to break the bank! Learn three methods of creating a homemade garden irrigation system.

I’m going to tell you something so earth-shattering you’re going to want to sit down to read this. Are you ready? Vegetable plants need water to grow. I know, how profound! All silliness aside, having a good watering schedule will result in higher crop yields. The problem I run into is that I don’t always have a regular watering schedule. I’d like to get out into the garden every morning because it’s a good time to water vegetables. But sometimes chasing after a toddler (or husband) can get in the way of my garden plans! And even when I do get into the garden, I’m not always consistent with the amount of water each plant receives. That’s where a homemade garden irrigation system comes in.

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Believe it or not, you can easily implement a homemade garden irrigation system in your backyard without too much investment or hassle. There are many variations and methods for creating a watering system but all of them have the same basic principles: get water to plants and don’t waste any water. Here are a few homemade garden irrigation systems to check out and how to use them in your own garden.

Drip irrigation using PVC pipes

Okay, this one is going to look a little complicated, but I promise if you ever played with Lego blocks or Tinker Toys as a child, you’ll do fine with this! The trick is mapping out your design and measurements before you go to the hardware store. With simple PVC pipe fixtures and a little planning, you can create a modular drip irrigation system that can be used year after year. I love the trick of setting this system up before you plant your seeds and seedlings, that way you know exactly where to plant them based on where the water reaches.


Drip irrigation using a soaker hose

Soaker hoses have been around forever and are an easy way to create a homemade garden irrigation system in your backyard in just a few hours. While you can easily just lay out the soaker hose along your rows of vegetables, it’s worth planning out your entire garden to make sure you have the right connections and lengths of the soaker hose. What’s neat about both the PVC and soaker hose drip irrigation methods is that you can connect them to a timed sprinkler system.


DIY Ollas – clay pot irrigation system

If you’re going away for a few days and don’t want your garden to suffer, I highly recommend the clay pot irrigation system. Ollas, or clay pots, have been used for centuries for providing water to crops. An easy way to create your own ollas is to use unglazed terracotta flower pots. The water seeps through the terracotta at a relatively slow pace. Even if you’re gone for longer than a few days, you can have a neighbor or friend come by and just refill the pots.


Do you have a homemade garden irrigation system in your yard? What materials did you use to build it? Let me know in the comments!

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By Amanda MacArthur

Amanda MacArthur is Senior Editor & Producer for Food Gardening Network and GreenPrints. She is responsible for generating all daily content and managing distribution across web, email, and social. In her producer role, she plans, edits, and deploys all video content for guides, magazine issues, and daily tips. As a best-selling cookbook author, Amanda cooks using ingredients from her outdoor gardens in the summer and from her indoor hydroponic garden in the winter.

4 replies on “How to Make a Homemade Garden Irrigation System”

We have installed a Lowes bought drip system called “Mister” system. It took a while to get it working correctly but we are very satisfied now. The clew to a successful auto water organized system is Valves. Since some plants and vegies take more water than others it’s easy to over water, A valve for each area allows me to water each area properly. Pros and cons of this type system is welcome. Lets hear some comments about your system.

All 3 solutions will probably be used to satisfy different needs in my yard. Now to do my planning homework before spring comes again. Thanks

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