Home DIY Gravity Drip Irrigation for Herbs and Plants





Introduction: Home DIY Gravity Drip Irrigation for Herbs and Plants

Set up a cheap precision drip gravity irrigation system for indoors / hi-rise home~

- Low maintenance self-watering for vacations
- Precise customized delivery of water to plants
- Vehicle for precise, uniform fertilizer delivery
- Cheap readily available / recycled parts
- Eco-friendly. Zero energy use, zero carbon emissions
- Scalable and easily customizable
- Better, cheaper and more precise than commercially sold drip systems

Step 1: Parts Needed

Parts are easily available from any aquarium shop

1. Air tube

2. T valves

3. Stainless steel air valves

4. Largest available soda bottle

5. Cable ties, hooks and thin plastic rope for suspension of soda bottle

Step 2: Preparation!

- Check the diameter of the air tube and find a screw driver with approx slightly smaller diameter

- Heat the screwdriver tip on stove and carefully make a hole at the base of the soda bottle so the air tube can fit tightly

- Heat the screwdriver again and make a small hole in the center of the soda bottle's cap for air exchange, small enough so insects such as mosquitos can't get in

- Fit the air tube into the soda bottle base and test for water leakage. Non-toxic silicon for waterworks can be used to secure the fitting

- Tie a cable tie around the neck of the soda bottle and tighten it until it can be comfortably hold up by a S hook.

- The soda bottle's height placement must be higher than the plants. Secure the plastic string and hook with soda bottle.

Step 3: Water Tubes and Valves

1. Measure the airtube from the soda bottle to your plants and cut.

2. Fit a main stainless steel valve to the first section from the soda bottle. This 'main valve' allows you to shut off / start the water flow to all plants.

3. For each plant pot you have, use a T valve and stainless steel valve for drip watering. Secure the airtubes with cable ties for a neater look.

4. Terminate the line with a stainless steel valve set to stop position.

Step 4: Finish!

Your home gravity precision drip irrigation is ready for use!

Carefully test each section for water leakage. Secure with silicon or glue if necessary.

To top up the water in the bottles, use a large funnel and a spare soda bottle, probably once a week depending on number of plants, flow rate and bottle size.

You can add on more soda bottles for more water storage capacity, just make sure the bottles are higher than the plants. During water top up, you would need to loosen the lower tier-bottles' caps to allow the water to flow from the high tier bottles and tighten it when it is almost full to prevent overflow.

Use a water-based fertilizer concentrate and add to the bottles according to the dilution instructions.

Enjoy your home gravity precision drip irrigation!



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Can you please tell me why you need two bottles hanging higher than the two other bottles and the higher bottles connected to the lower bottles? I am guessing there is a good reason, but please tell me.


Where did you buy the valves

Yes, yes, that was my first question, too!

You can find them with aquarium supplies at about any pet store.

Cool, thanks!

I've toyed around with a very similar idea for a hydroponics approach. Instead of just water in the bottles, have water plus nutrient solution, and then "drip to waste" into a soil-less growing medium. Been looking for a main valve that could controlled by a timer of some sort, battery powered.

you can use valves and pumps with arduino. very small and can be controlled auto or manually from your phone/internet. ever looked into this.?

Arduino is expensive for such a project. I was considering a system based on analog electronics at some point, but for a few dozen pots even this would be expensive. I think keeping it strictly mechanical is the cheapest solution.

under $15 you can wifi automize the above system and pretty much anything else.
1. wifi arduino; http://www.ebay.com/itm/1Pcs-ESP8266-ESP-201-Remot...
2. pump; http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC3V-Micro-Pressure-Oxygen...

3. rechargable battery; http://www.ebay.com/itm/2600mAh-External-Portable-...

4. soil sensor; http://www.ebay.com/itm/5PCS-Soil-Humidity-Sensor-...

controlled from your phone (or auto), completely mobile (or wall adapter) and small enough to fit inside your palm.

Yes, as sort of a "Phase II". Wanted to do a "proof of concept" without too much automation first.