Drip irrigation has been a thing since people in North Africa and China began burying clay pots called ollas to water crops efficiently—about 4,000 years ago. This type of micro-irrigation delivers a steady stream of water directly to the roots of plants, minimizing evaporation. Plus, drip irrigation saves time and labor, freeing gardeners from the monotony and frustration of dragging a muddy hose from plant to plant.

Budget Pick

This design includes everything you need for no-fuss H2O delivery: hoses, sprinklers, stakes, and a spigot connection. Amazon

While traditional ollas are still an option, modern drip irrigation kits comprise a series of tubes and adjustable sprinkler heads (drippers) that you connect together so each plant receives a steady drip-drip-drip of water directed to the roots.

Smart Design

This model includes threaded tubing for easy setup and a timer for fully remote irrigation. Amazon

All that tubing in your drip irrigation setup connects to the outdoor faucet. You can control water delivery to the entire garden with the flip of a single switch—or a series of switches for kits that include a timer. Timers let you program things like watering frequency and run time for fully automated irrigation.

Made of UV-resistant materials, this option is durable and includes customizable sprinklers for max versatility. Amazon

Since each individual sprinkler head is adjustable, you can set up a drip irrigation system so that individual plants receive customized levels of irrigation—or even set individual drippers to accommodate a small group of plants. Kits should include stakes and teflon tape to ensure the system stays in place and doesn’t waste water at the spigot.