Summer may be almost over, but in many parts of the country, it really doesn’t feel like it — especially to the lawns and gardens thirsty from weeks with little or no rain.
What can you do to make sure your plants thrive through next year’s heat and drought? Hone your do-it-yourself skills by adding a self-watering system for your plants.
Several drip irrigation methods — along with some other creative watering methods — can be installed pretty easily. Drip irrigation, sometimes called trickle, micro, or localized irrigation, will automate your watering job and save water and fertilizer, as it allows the water to slowly trickle directly to the roots of plants through a network of narrow tubes.
Some great DIY ideas include a short-term self-watering system using old plastic or glass bottles and vertical self-watering gardens made of plywood and two-liter bottles. Check out six DIY self-watering systems over at The Fun Times Guide.
And remember, proper watering throughout autumn is a vital part of making sure your shrubs and trees make it through tough winter months.
Editor’s note: Originally published on September 27, 2013, this article was updated in September 2018.