Drip Irrigation Bucket

During drought trees can benefit from periodic deep watering.  Learn how to deep water your trees with a simple DIY drip irrigation bucket you can build yourself.

Instructions:

Drip watering systems save water by controlling how fast water is applied to the soil.  Slowing the spread of water allows for the water to be fully absorbed, minimizing loss due to run-off.  Less frequent, deeper watering also encourages plants to put down longer roots, making them more water efficient.

To create a drip irrigation bucket, you simply need a standard five gallon bucket and drill.  Start with a 1/32 inch drill bit and place one or two holes in the center of the bucket.  If you don’t have a drill, you can also use a hammer and a nail.

The next step is to position the bucket over the root zone next to the tree or plant that needs a deep watering, and fill with water.  How long the bucket takes to empty will depend on the size of the bucket and number of holes, but the key is to make sure the water is infiltrating slowly enough to be absorbed.

This system also provides a great way to reuse the water that would otherwise be lost as you wait for your shower to warm up.  Simply catch that water in another container, then carry it outside and add it to the drip irrigation bucket.

When you water, always remember to follow the mandatory watering schedule restrictions in effect due to the drought:

Manual watering (with a hose) is limited to no more than two days a week before 8 am and after 8 pm.  Stage III restrictions require that you always use a shut-off nozzle when you use a hose.

For fixed irrigation systems (sprinklers and drip irrigation) water before 6 am or after 8 pm no more than two days a week, on Wednesday and Saturday for residential customers and Tuesday and Friday for business customers.

Additional Resources:
  • For regional water conservation information, go to www.WaterWiseSB.org.
  • For more information on the statewide drought and ways to conserve, visit Save Our Water.
  • To read more about District water supply planning, click here.
  • Contact us by email at Turn on Javascript! or call the District at 805-964-6761.