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Can anyone recommend an inexpensive automatic greenhouse watering system? I have a 6' x 8' greenhouse at the moment, although may buy a slightly bigger one later, and am often away from home for a few days at a time - apart from my two weeks annual holiday. I can have 4 grow bags, a few seed trays and one or two plants in the greenhouse at varying times - sometimes all at the one time. I have an outside water tap but the greenhouse is at the opposite end of the garden from this at the moment. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi, depends what you mean by automatic - I experimented with gravel in trays this year and grew some plants in bottomless pots placed on the gravel with the green absorbent cloth under the gravel. Also put gravel on top of the soil in the pots to prevent evaporation.
The weather was pretty rubbish this year in this part of the UK but there were a few hot weekends when I went away. Using gravel like this certainly reduced how often the plants needed watering. I could go away on a Friday and not water again till Sunday or Monday. Also helped the friend who watered on my two week holiday, although she came every day to feed the cat, only needed to water stuff in the GH every other day or 4th day. Over watering isn't a problem so long as there is moisture in the tray as the compost will only take on water it can hold.
You may need to purchase trays for the grow bags to put gravel in. I used a mix of big plastic trays and wooden fruit boxes, the later lined with bin bags. The fruit boxes came free. The bottomless pots were flower buckets with their bottom cut off down to the size of the rather expensive bottomless tom pots you can purchase at GC's. The flower buckets came free too, I've at least 100 and struggle to know what to do with them.
I'm sure there will be posters with more suggestions.
Thanks - never thought of using gravel. Will give it a try.
Thanks for your response.
Have you tried holiday watering kits like this? It goes for around 10 pounds and can store 25 liters of water. It's the solution that I got when I had to leave my house for a few days but of course I don't want my plants to suffer. My indoor plants on the other hand, were submerged in water beads that I purchased from this site. Those are my solution for watering systems.
hi there, just installed automatic watering kit and its brilliant. It's linked up to hanging baskets and to my tomatoes in greenhouse. Took me hours to get the balance right and had to do a lot of adapting to get just right .Saves me lots of time to give to other jobs in garden, good luck.
I just ordered a kit for my greenhouse (6x10), it runs off the mains tap outside.
Just setting it up, seems great so far. Delivery from the site was very quick 3days. So can recommend them on that basis.
I'm going to use the watering all the time, rather than just when away, as i think consistant watering is the key with most greenhouse crops.
Trying to work out when the best time to water is at the moment, early morning or late at night... not sure need to research some
Have just caught up with the recent replies here.(must have been asleep!!) Thanks to all. The watering system kit that Andythescientist sent link about looks just right for me. At £45, I think that is cheaper than a similar kit I saw in B & Q recently. How are you finding it now that it will be set up and in use? I just need to convince myself I want to part with the money for one!!
Hi Mrs M, I've got it all setup and using it to water my tomato's and cucumbers. The variable drippers seemt to work really well. Rather than watering around the plant i've set up the drippers to drop into a small plant pot sunk into the growbags near the plants. Seems to be working really well.
At the moment i've got it working for 30 mins every morning and it seems to be about right, as the summer progresses i'll increase the watering time a bit but it's easy to reset and change.
That's great. Glad it is working out for you.I am on-line just now checking them all out - and hoping I may get a bargain somewhere!! (but not yet). Just wondered if using a kit without a timer may be an option.I presume it would then be a constant drip to all the plants and this may prove to be too much for some of them. Anyway, I will continue looking and make a decision soon.
Thanks again for your reply and your help.
Well to give you an idea i'm feeding 4 growbags, with the drippers, and they are getting about 30 mins per day at the moment. So yeah if it was on constantly it would be far too much, although you can cut the dripper rate down a bit, i don't think they go down that far.
Yes, I can see the point of the timer. If I am away from home, the timer is essential.