If you are serious about keeping your houseplants and garden healthy and well watered, then you might be the type of person who would forego a vacation. Regardless of whether you will be away for just a weekend or for a month, the thought of leaving your plants unattended is something you can’t do.
No problem. Go ahead and make those vacation plans. Your plants will be fine. All you have to do is set up a do-it-yourself self-watering system before you leave.
There are so many ingenious ways to keep your plants moist over time. Here are just a few ideas.
No doubt you, your spouse and your kids drink a lot of soda from plastic bottles. Instead of discarding the bottles after they’ve been drained, save them and use
them as part of a self-watering system.
Here is how to prepare the empty bottles to provide water to your houseplants.
First, gather these items.
· Two-liter plastic bottles
· Small nails
Now using these items, prepare the empty plastic bottles.
· Using a nail and hammer, punch holes into the cap of the bottle.
· Fill the bottle with water.
· Water the soil of the plant thoroughly.
· Insert the bottle upside down into the plant’s pot and push it down deep into the soil beside the plant.
Water will slowly drip out of the holes on the bottle cap and soak the soil with enough moisture to keep your plant happy until you return.
Items you will need for this type of self-watering system include:
· A pot
· A wick or shoelace
The houseplant you intend to water should be in a pot with a drainage hole in its bottom.
Creating this self-watering system can get messy. So it is advised that you take the plant outside to a workbench. If you don’t have a workbench, then spread out newspapers on a table.
· Knot the end of the wick or shoelace.
· Water the houseplant and soak the wick or shoelace.
· Stick the sharp end of a pencil through the shoelace or wick or wrap the shoelace or wick securely around the pencil.
· Lift the plant from the pot.
· Stick the pencil with the wick or shoelace into the root ball of the plant and thread the shoelace or wick through the draining hole of the pot.
· Place the plant back into the pot with the wick or shoelace connected.
· Place the plant on a shelf and let the wick or shoelace fall into a pitcher of water. The pitcher should be filled with 16 to 32 ounces of water.
The water will seep up the wick or shoelace and into the root ball of the plant. The root ball will soak up the water as it needs it.
You can also place your houseplants into a about one-quarter of an inch of water. To use this method of watering you need to collect gravel or bricks.
· Put a layer of gravel of bricks on the bottom of the tub.
· Fill the tub with one-quarter of an inch of water.
· Place the houseplants on the gravel or bricks.
Moisture will penetrate through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.