Back in the spring a good friend of mine told me about an automatic watering kit on Amazon that she used at her home to water her plants. I knew they existed but assumed they were really pricy or had to be professionally installed. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the kits are actually under $30 on Amazon and I could install it myself! The company that makes it is called Raindrip but it does not actually use rain. I talked a little bit about it in this blog post from the spring, but wanted to share a thorough review with result photos in a follow up blog post. Bottom line: I am obsessed with this $30 automatic watering kit and I will never water my plants manually ever again!
Shop the Post:
On our front porch we have 4 Boston ferns in hanging baskets, 2 flower boxes with a number of plants squeezed into a tight space, 2 potted boxwoods, one potted gardenia, and a few additional pots of flowers on the steps. I was able to run the tubing from our spigot on the side of the house and then hammer it into place where needed with the provided mounting tools, cut and add drops anywhere I wanted them, and now all of my plants are watered automatically thanks to the timer that comes with the kit. My plants are healthier and fuller than they’d ever be if I watered them on my own (it’s so easy to overwater, underwater, or flat out forget to water them when left to my own devices), and they were even watered while we were out of town most of the summer.
We get nice morning sun on our front porch, and because the plants don’t get baked in hot afternoon sun I’m able to water them for 15 minutes every 24 hours and they do incredibly well. (Whatever time you set the timer is what time the first watering will start, so I set ours at 7AM and that’s what time they’re watered every day.) If you have a porch that gets more sun you’d probably want to increase the duration. My ferns are quite large so I have 2 drops in each fern. I initially installed only one drop per fern but noticed that they looked a little dry. It was easy to go back and add another one, and once I did that they were good to go for the summer and they’ve done magnificently! Here is what the fern drops look like:
In the flower boxes I have 3 drops, evenly spaced across the length of the box. As you can see, the plants have thrived and they’re out of control in the very best way! Here is how one of the drops in the flower box looks (there are 2 more in this box but I couldn’t get them all in the same photo):
Boxwoods are quite resilient and even though they’re large I only have 1 drop per plant. For the boxwood by the front door I pushed the tubing down into the space between two floor boards and was able to run the tubing to the plant and add a drop at the back of the plant. It’s not noticeable at all! Here is what the boxwood drop looks like and a photo of how I ran the tub to the one by the front door:
The gardenia is small so I only have 1 drop running to it:
If I were to go back and do things over again, I’d order the white tubing that you can get on its own. I didn’t realize this was a option until after I’d installed the whole system, and since we know we’ll be moving in the spring I’m not going to redo it. Just know that it’s an option if you have white wood and are interested in one of these systems. The black tubing isn’t really noticeable from the front of the house but it does bother me a little when I’m on the porch. But overall, that’s the one thing I’d do differently!
In order to connect extra systems to our one spigot (I have another container watering system and a garden watering system in set up in the backyard) I bought two hose splitters. As long as you tighten them up well and have a good seal they don’t drip at all and I’m able to water additional areas automatically. Here is how I have the timers set up (first), as well as close ups of the potted plants timer (second) and the garden timer (third):
The backyard gets very intense afternoon sun, so for the garden I set the timer to water for 5 minutes every 12 hours. (The potted plants are connected to the same timer as the front of the house, while the garden has it’s own timer.) One thing to note if you’re going to purchase the garden automatic watering kit- it does NOT come with the timer. You have to purchase it on its own or use the one from the container garden kit (which is what I did, since I purchased 2 container kits). Our garden has performed really well, and the only way it would have been better is if I had laid the tubing first, rather than planting the plants and then laid the tubing. The holes in the garden hose/tube are spaced 12 inches apart and that didn’t quite line up with where my plants were located, so I just wound it around as needed and it seemed to still work just fine. Next time I’ll have the hose out first and then will decide where to put my plants. As you can see, at this point in the summer everything has grown a whole lot and it’s quite crowded. Lesson learned!
In the backyard I have a bunch of flowers in individual pots on a plant stand and two potted palms. I forgot to take a current photo but here is what the plant stand looked like before I installed the kit. I just ran a dropper to each plant and they’ve done great!
The palms are larger so each palm has 2 drops. They are growing like crazy and I plan to bring them inside once it gets cold:
All in all, I am such a huge fan of my automatic watering kits and it gives me such satisfaction to see the plants that I spent good money thriving, even though I’m not actively doing a single thing! If you consider yourself a plant killer (I’ve always thought that I was one and was intimidated by plants because of that) then get yourself one of these watering systems. It’ll save you from worrying and it’ll also ensure that you don’t waste your money by killing your plants! The installation is easy, just takes about 30 minutes to an hour depending on how many plants you have. I did it while sipping wine and the only tools you need are a hammer and scissors. It’s too easy!
Shop the Post: