So, I bought a water barrel and connected it to a downspout, and that kept me from having to carry water through the house in buckets to water these plants. But, like I said, I'm lazy, so I decided to try my hand at automatic watering from the rain barrel.
Step 1: Materials Required
Since my plan centered on using a fountain pump hooked to a timer, I needed a fountain pump that would be able to lift water at least 6.5 feet (since one of the plants is on a shelf). I had an old fountain pump, but unfortunately it would only lift about 4 feet. I found a 300-500 gph fountain pump locally, and this pump has a lift of 8.7 feet, which was more than adequate.
In addition to the pump, I used an electronic timer, about 20 feet of plastic 1/2 inch tubing, 16 feet of 1/4 inch hose, and an assortment of drip irrigation bubblers and fittings.
The tool requirement was basically something to cut the rubber hose with. I used a shop knife, but you could also use scissors or a really mean dog....
Step 2: Install the Pump
Step 3: Install the Hoses
I terminated this hose (photo 2) by simply folding it over and tying it off with some nylon cord. I found I had to bring the hose up higher than the water in the barrel to keep it from continuing to siphon after the pump was shut off. Since the water barrel was full, I simply experimented until I found the right height. You can see in photo 2 the 1/4 inch lines coming off the 1/2 inch hose -- I had to place them at this height to eliminate siphoning.
Two of the plants are outside of this porch, one is on top of the water barrel and the other is beside it. I formed a loop in the 1/2 inch hose above the water barrel (photo 3), and attached the 1/4 inch lines to this elevated loop.
The last photo shows the final water line that goes to the plant that is mounted on the wall.
Step 4: Add the Electronic Timer
Now that I'm out of the manual watering business, guess I'll have to find something else to do.
Or, I could just get even more lazy..........