Pots That Self-Water When You're Away

Learn techniques to help your container garden survive without you...

December 7, 2010

The biggest problem with a container garden is that it often requires daily watering. So, does that mean you can't take a summer vacation without risking a total loss? No! Try one of these self-watering techniques to keep your container plantings thriving when you have to be away for a few days.

  • Slip a plastic saucer or shallow pan under each pot; water the plants well and fill the saucers just before you leave.
  • Build a watering reservoir into your containers. Start with a 5 gallon bucket or other container that doesn't have holes in the bottom. Drill drainage holes aobut 2 or 3 inches up on the sides of the bucket. When you water deeply, you'll create a self-contained reservoir of moisture at the very base of the container.
  • Make a self watering system out of an old t-shirt. Tear the shirt (or other rag) into long strips. Bury one end of a strip several inches deep in the soil of a pot, and hang the other end into a pan or bucket of water set beside the pot. The cloth will act as a wick and draw moisture into the soil in the plant pot. Set a rock on the strips to keep the wind from blowing them out of the pan of water.


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