Watering Tips for Holidaymakers
We all know cacti and succulents can go months without water, but not so all your other house plants. Short of having a kind neighbor pop in and give them a drink, below are some tips for DIY self watering house plants. In all cases, water your plants well before you go.
- Make a miniature greenhouse my placing a plastic bag over your plant. Make sure the bag does not touch the foliage by using small bamboo sticks (or something similar) to drape the bag over. Seal tightly around the pot using a rubber band. Don't leave in direct sunlight.
- Line a shallow tray with pebbles. Fill the tray to almost the top of the pebbles with water. Place potted plants on top so drainage holes (of pot) are sitting on the pebbles.
- In the bathtub or sink, place a folded damp towel. Sit potted plants on top of towel, so drainage holes (of pot) are sitting on the towel.
- For larger pot plants, place several layers of damp newspaper over the soil of the plant.
- Using a braided absorbent nylon cord, or string, or wool as a wick. Place one end in the bottom of a full bottle of water, and place the other end buried about 3 inches deep into the soil. Test your wick, before you go away, to make sure it carries the water (ie set system up over night starting with a dry wick. If wick is still dry in the morning then the wick is not absorbent and won't work).
For outdoor plants, a tap timer on a the end of a sprinkler or a soaker or weeping hose is the ideal, but not always practical. Water storage crystals are recommended for pots. These crystal swell hundreds of times to form a water reservoir for plants and deliver the water directly to the root systems. Saturaid helps makes water soak directly to root zone
Self watering pots are another option. The reserve of moisture at the base of each Tuscan Edge pot helps prevent plants from drying out. These tubs are good size so will accommodate a medium size shrub.
Watering well, and a good thick mulch, well help keep your garden happy, but don't forget the nice friendly neighbor who might pop over and sprinkle the hose while your are away!