Garden DIY: How to make an irrigation system with rain barrels, PVC pipe and a sump pump

Garden DIY: How to make an irrigation system with rain barrels, PVC pipe and a sump pump

Blog PhotoMy brother-in-law, Larry Sutton, is a carpenter and can make just about anything.

So my sister, gardening mother and I were all delighted when he rigged up an irrigation system for the Sutton garden out of rain barrels, PVC pipe and a sump pump.

I'm not quite sure how he got the idea, but here's how it works.

Larry constructed rain barrels out of food-safe barrels and gutter parts (he works for a family contracting company).

To make the irrigation system, he put a sump pump in one of the rain barrels. He then connected a garden hose to a series of PVC pipes with strategically placed holes that are placed throughout their garden.

When he wants to use the irrigation system, he connects the hose to a rain barrel and plugs in the sump pump with an extension cord to their garage. The pump then sends water through the hose and out the holes in the pipes.

Blog PhotoThey're still perfecting the system - Allison said they had to cover some holes yesterday because the cucumbers got soaked before water even got to their tomatoes.

She said Larry is working on putting in some shut-off valves for particular branches of the irrigation system. But really, what a genius idea. I'm guessing anyone with a little DIY experience could take this one on.

I'm still looking for readers' garden DIY projects to feature on my blog. If you'd like to submit one, email me at meg(at) with what you've done and a few photos.

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