Irrigating your rooftop garden is as easy as collecting rain and letting it drip onto your plants. This technique works for small gardens and large ones. Many companies will sell complicated systems with valves, timers, and hoses that come up from underneath the plant and then drip into your plant’s root system.
You can make your own drip system using simple garden hoses, a container to hold water, and a garden pump. Here is an idea for a simple water pump system that will allow you to drip water onto your rooftop garden for your irrigation needs.
You will need several parts and a working knowledge of valves and plumbing. First you will need a container with which to hold the water and plant nutrients. Then find a garden pump that fits inside the container so you can distribute the water properly. Find a lid to cover the apparatus that you can drill holes in the top to leave room for the pump’s power cord and hose.
Tubing and valves are essential to the makeup of this system. A drip system works by releasing a small amount of water on the surface of the dirt and the water drips down to the roots. You can set a timer that will turn on your garden pump at certain times of day to irrigate your plants based upon how much water you need.
How many plants you have determines the size of the bucket, the pump, and the amount of tubing you have. For each plant or pot you will need a T connector to run the tubing up into the soil of the potted plant to just above the surface.
From the water pump you should connect tubing that reaches out of the top of the lid and to the floor. At this point connect a back flow valve so as to maintain pressure ever time the pump activates. Run tubing from the valve to the next pot where you install a T connector so you have a tube running up into the first plant and then the water can go to the next one. Cut enough tubing to make it to the top of the surface of the dirt where you will install a drip emitter over the hose.
Do the same routine for each plant where you will cap off the hose at the last T connector to maintain water pressure. The more plants you have, the larger water reservoir you will need and larger water pump. Plugging the pump into a timer on the outlet will let you control when the pump activates and how much water each plant will get based upon your planting needs. All you have to do is maintain the level of water and nutrients in the feeder bucket to keep the system operational.