Balcony gardening comes with a whole host of challenges. Not only are you limited on space, but container plants need to be watered more often than plants found in a typical outdoor garden.
Soil dries out quicker in containers, especially if the containers are on a balcony that faces a southerly or westerly direction.
However, drip irrigation helps to reduce severe drought on a balcony, giving water directly to plant roots, all the while keeping the balcony floor dry and clean.
But an automatic watering system doesn’t just make maintaining your balcony garden easier, it also saves you time. Installing your own dip irrigation system on your balcony is also easy and doesn’t take up too much time.
A drip irrigation system is an automatic watering system for pots and containers that hooks right into your garden hose or spigot. Once turned on, it waters all your containers at the same time!
There are also different ways to set up your system, but the easiest way to do so is with the help of drip irrigation kits.
You can also turn the water on manually or set it up on an automatic timer. Depending on how many plants you have, a drip irrigation kit may be all you need to get your system up and running.
Below, you’ll find five of the best drip irrigation kits, and how to install and maintain them.
Jepeux Drip Irrigation Kit
The Jepeux Drip Irrigation Kit has everything you need to keep your balcony garden healthy no matter what the season, and is a great water conservation tool for your plants.
This garden irrigation kit is great for large balconies as it has a huge 50 feet long tubing and comes with a wide variety of attachments such as elastic clamps for firm connectors, 20 adjustable drippers, and ten misting nozzles.
The threaded tap connection is easy to install and connects with a ¼-inch water pipe. No matter how high the water pressure this hose will hold up – no need to worry about water leakage!
The tubing is made of high-quality UV-resistant material that can be easily attached to an elastic clamp that you can use for firm connectors.
However, it’s also soft and malleable enough to wrap around corners, and the smaller tubing can be easily connected with the fittings.
But while this kit is fantastic for larger balconies, it’s also available in a number of sizes, so if you have a smaller balcony you won’t miss out!
- Kit packed with all the accessories you need
- Consistent results even at a low water pressure.
- Comes with 2 types of tap connector.
- High-quality tubing.
- Doesn’t have a ¾ inch hose fitting adapter.
Flantor Garden Irrigation System
If you like to grow vegetables as well as flowers on your balcony garden then the Flantor Garden Irrigation System may be for you! It’s also perfect for those with a low-maintenance garden.
You don’t need any plumbing skills in order to install this system – it couldn’t be more simple!
To water all your plants at once you just need to simply turn the tap off and on. But you can also water your plants everyday automatically using a timer, however, a timer is not included in the kit.
If you don’t want to water all your plants simultaneously you can adjust each nozzle individually so only specific plants get watered. The kit includes 20 drippers, multiple nozzles, as well as other accessories that make installation easier.
The 50-feet poly tubing is good for medium to large-sized gardens regardless of soil type. Installation is not only easy but quick.
- Installing the 50-feet long tubing is easy thanks to the complete installation kit.
- Individually adjustable nozzles.
- Excellent for containers.
- Doesn’t come with an automatic timer.
- Some drips can be difficult to fit together.
Raindrip Automatic Watering Kit
The Raindrip Drip Irrigation Kit will be a lifesaver for those with hanging baskets as well as plant containers.
It comes with 20 drippers with a ½ GPM flow rate that is able to water up to 20 containers or baskets at once. Not only that, but if you would like the kit to water specific plants the drippers can be adjusted to do so.
This system is easy to install and once installed you won’t have to worry about forgetting to water your plants again, especially because the kit comes with a battery-operated timer.
The hose thread quickly snaps to standard-sized faucets so your plants will receive precise watering in no time.
The hose is made of polyethylene that is high-quality and low-density and is coated with a UV-resistant material to protect it from sun damage and helps to make it last longer.
You can leave the hose on the balcony on even the sunniest days!
This kit is packed with everything you need and you can set your system up in as little as 20 minutes. The automatic timer has a long battery life, lasting up to 10 days on a single charge.
- Automatic watering system complete with timer.
- Efficient drip irrigation system that is quick and easy to install.
- Can water up to 20 plants at once.
- Durable, UV-resistant hose.
- Despite having a long battery life, the automatic timer does not come with a spare battery.
MIXC Mist Irrigation Kits with Accessories
The MIXC Mist Irrigation Kit not only contains high-quality accessories, but accessories that have been designed for the most ease of use. This kit is an easy way to make sure your plants are getting all the water they need without breaking the bank.
The kitt comes with four nozzles, two high-quality tubes, and a spray head. The misters included have a flow rate of 6.7-7 L/hour with a max spray diameter of 0.3 meters, and while this kit does not come with a timer, you can add a timer.
With this kit, you can save up to 70% of water. The nozzle also has two drip tube water outlet modes to choose from, misty and columnar.
The nozzles can be adjusted according to your needs, ensuring you get the precise drip watering for your plants while keeping your water usage low and encouraging healthy plant growth.
The irrigation tubing is made from high-quality PVC material as are all of the fitting materials. Once installed, you can purchase an auto timer and rest assured knowing that your plants are being watered no matter how long you’re away from home.
- Tubing is made of high-quality plastic.
- Nozzles have two water modes – columnar and mist-style.
- Easy to install.
- Suitable for medium to large balcony gardens.
- Does not come with a timer.
- Large nozzle can be hard to organize.
Orbit Micro Bubbler Drip Irrigation Watering Kit
If you’re conscious about how much water you’re using when watering your plants, then the Orbit Micro-Bubble Drip Irrigation Kit may be the irrigation kit for you!
It comes with all you need to get started with your drip irrigation system, and isn’t just great for potted plants but trees and shrubs too.
Installation is easy, and comes with a huge 50-foot-long tubing with ½ and ¼ inch diameter that covers even the largest of balconies and waters your plants efficiently.
While the irrigation isn’t designed to work with the rainwater catcher system, it does work with a standard home watering system. The kit is all black too which makes it easy to conceal in mulch and is almost invisible in containers.
This durable kit also has elastic, and flexible parts. You no longer have to worry about moving hoses around and making unnecessary adjustments to your balcony garden to make sure your plants are sufficiently watered.
- ½ inch and ¼ inch distribution tubing.
- Flexible tubing that covers cornered areas.
- Easy to install.
- Low maintenance set-up.
- Attachments are more basic than most.
Installing A Drip Irrigation System
Okay, so now you’ve got your drip irrigation kit there are some more factors to keep in mind when installing it. These factors are the types of plants you’re watering, how they’re spaced, and even the time of year and weather conditions.
Let’s take a look at how you install your drip irrigation system.
Step 1: Measure your balcony and mark the plant locations where you want the drip irrigation to be installed. By doing this you’ll know what the length the mainline tubing will need to be and what emitter joints and other components you may need.
Step 2: If the drip system is fed water through an outdoor spigot, then backflow prevention, pressure regulator and a filter to prevent potable water contamination will need to be attached.
Before you start laying them out on the ground follow the manufacturer’s recommendation regarding the installation of these components.
Step 3: Hook the controller up to the tap and install the water filter. You can now attach a pressure regulator if you’re using one.
Step 4: Spread the tubing around the balcony, keeping it close to the plant you want to water. Install the emitter at the designated spot and if the tubing doesn’t have a built-in dripper make a hole in the tubing to install one.
Step 5: Turn the water on slowly, checking for any leakage, and regulate the pressure valve to control the water flow rate.
Most drip systems are set to turn on for one hour of watering per week, but your schedule will depend on what plants you have in the garden and the number of emitters hooked up to the system.
Maintaining A Drip Irrigation System
A drip irrigation system is not only convenient but saves you hundreds of dollars a year on water bills and gives your plants a more consistent water supply.
However, even with a drip irrigation system, you need to keep an eye on your plants and the system itself to make sure it’s all in working order. Let’s take a look at how you can take proper care of your system.
Regularly check the system for any cracks or leakage, and replace any damaged or cracked tubing with drip tape to make sure the water flow is consistent.
To avoid excessive evaporation during summer, cover the tubing with mulch. While a lot of high-quality tubing is UV-resistant, covering the tubing also protects it from sun damage.
You should always make sure that the pressure regulator is working appropriately to control the water pressure. High water pressure above the irrigation system rating could cause the emitter to pop out.
You should also keep the tubing clear from any blockage resisting water flow, and keep the water filter clean.
Wash the emitter once a month to keep it free from any obstruction. You should also clean and soak the emitter every season in vinegar and water to remove any mineral deposits such as build-up of calcium and magnesium.
The Right PSI For Drip Irrigation
Truthfully, the right PSI for your drip irrigation system will depend on what you’re irrigating and any other needs you have. The PSI of your system is directly linked to the flow rate (GPM), so the higher the pressure, the higher the flow rate will be.
A drip irrigation system needs low water pressure and water flow to irrigate plants. Most drip systems are rated to operate in the range of 10 to 30 pounds per square inch (PSI).
A pressure regulator can be used to reduce the average 30 PSI home water pressure into the operational range pressure.
If you’re watering a large area, a higher PSI will be suitable for more mature plants. Meanwhile, if you want to supply water to a few plants then the lower the PSI the better.
Installing a drip irrigation system has plenty of benefits. Not only does it keep your plants healthy by ensuring they have the right amount of moisture, but it reduces plant health problems like blossom end rot.
It also means you can rest assured that your plants are being watered when you’re away from home.
While the number of steps to install an irrigation system may seem daunting, the truth is it doesn’t take up a lot of time and is super simple – especially with the help of a drip irrigation kit!