DIY Automated Indoor Container Garden Irrigation

Well, I worked on a project I have been talking about and gathering parts for a really long time now. I have had the pumps for over a year. I got the pumps on sale at Harbor Freight in Florida. I picked up the irrigation kit on sale at Walmart this fall. I eventually work on my DIY projects. Eventually. This is the homemade irrigation system for the planter stand in the apartment. I am really bad about taking care of my stuff. Unless it meows or otherwise can get my attention it’s gotta be basically 0 maintenance if it’s to survive. I have been working on a planter stand for a few months now. I finally have enough light, I just forget to water it for a few weeks at a time. I took a series of YouTube videos of my putting this together. It changed a few times as I put it all together. The videos are much darker then I thought they would be, so my apologies.

Here I cut the tube, and make up an adapter to get the smaller tube hooked up to the pump. It took a while for the pump to prime.

Gotta love my mumbling. The first pump I tried wasn’t powerful enough, so I had to make a 2nd adapter to the bigger pump.

I finally get to where I set up some irrigation using some soaker hose.

All set up and working. SCORE!


The water pump running in the tub of water. You can see the hose adapter I made to connect the small hose to the larger pump outlet.

Soaker hose in a window planter

The soaker hose put into the windowsill planter box. I used the little nails that the irrigation kit came with to nail the tubes down to the trellises or whatever. I don’t think that this is enough soaker hose to adequately water this box with the size of the drippers on the small pots. I think the next one I put together will have a horseshoe shaped loop so I have twice the amount of watering.

indoor greenhouse

It’s amazing how much extra light a ‘real’ light fixture puts out compared to the cheap grow light tube fixture. You can also see the net I made to keep the cats out of the plants.

container irrigation

A close up of the plants. You can see where I alternated the curve of the hose so in the end, I had a straight run of irrigation hose. I planted Paris Island Cos (romaine lettuce), Grand Rapids (green leaf lettuce) and Arugala (rocket salad) in the planter. I figured I needed to get that all started now if I was to have fresh salads by the time Katie moves up. I really don’t know how the salad greens will grow in this homemade indoor greenhouse thingy I got going on, but I shall find out! Now I just have to either find a timer that will work, set up my X10 firecracker and use that as a timer, or what I really want to do, is build a timer out of a rabbitcore so i can hook it up to the internet.

Do It Yourself CO2 Reactor Construction Details

As promised, here are some more details on the construction of my Home Made CO2 Reactor. This CO2 Reactor is made from a couple of aquarium siphons, and an airline tubing splice connector.

I drilled a hole in the top Siphon Cap the same size as the airline tubing splice connector. I chose to drill the hole as close to the edge of the ridged plastic in hopes that I can give the connection some mechanical strength. I left as much room as I could so there would be enough surface area to make a watertight connection.

Here I am drilling a hole through the plastic siphon hose after I had slipped it back onto the end of the siphon cap. This hole is the same size as the inside of the plastic airline splice peice. I wanted the rubbery hose to form a tight seal around the airline splice.

After a lot of cleaning of the burs in the hose and pushing hard, I finally got the splice to fit inside the hole.

I made an improvised clamp system out of 3 nylon zip ties to hold this whole area toghether. This area leaked a little bit, so I ended up wrapping another zip tie around the elbow of the airline tubing and the siphon tube, to press the airline tubing more tightly against the rubbery hose in hopes of creating a better seal. The water leak seems to have stopped.

In looking at how the completed arrangement thing functions, I may move the airline tubing down into the larger part of the siphon tube. With the airline tubing fitting where it currently is in the hose, a lot of water preasure is trying to make the whole thing leak. I think by moving the airline fitting out of the hose, and into the larger tube, where there is mostly gas as opposed to moving water, I can eleminate the chance of this fitting creating a leak. I also think that I would be able be able to change out one of my Yeast & Sugar CO2 bottles without water trying to flow down the airline tubes when the whole thing is mounted higher then the water level on the fish tank. Posted by Picasa