Sometimes I feel like some of the things our family does would qualify in the list “You might be a ______ if…”; You can fill in the blank…redneck, crazy woman, frugal gardener, whatever. Our diy irrigation system for the garden probably qualifies us as one of those things.
Ensuring that your garden gets adequate water is one of the struggles that many gardeners face. Very few people have time to hand water a large garden during the heat of the summer which is why garden irrigation is so important.
There are a lot of ways to set up a garden watering system and the what works for one gardener may not work for another. And what you start with may not be what you keep year after year.
I struggle to keep our garden watered, we don’t have water near the garden so we use water hoses and hand water. We’ve tried using sprinklers and they broke. We also struggle with powdery mildew on our squash plants which is mostly due to the leaves getting wet.
For years, we’ve used a milk jug irrigation system in some of our beds. Basically, we poke holes in milk jugs and bury them. That way when we water we just fill up the jugs – the plants get a deep drink and the leaves stay dry.
You can use a nail or a drill with a super small drill bit to make the holes. I like to put two milk jugs in each 4X8 garden bed and cover with mulch. When I water I put the hose in the top of the milk jug and let it fill up while I harvest or weed. Actually, I let it overflow and really saturate the bed.
These do need to be replaced every year as the plastic will eventually break down, so I pull them at the end of the season and recycle them. This isn’t a perfect system, but it’s free and is a good interim step while you get a more permanent system in place.