How to Water Your Plants While You’re Away From Home

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How to Water Your Plants While You’re Away From Home

My husband’s and my 6th wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of August and we’re planning on visiting the wine country in Paso Robles, CA to celebrate. Wine tasting vacations with your husband should fill you with a sense of anticipation, but instead I feel a tinge of dread. I’ve worked hard all summer long to nurture my vegetable and herb plants, and by late August, I anticipate they’ll still be going strong. Short of hiring someone or burdening a friend with watering duty, what can I do?

To help stave off my vacation anxiety, I’ve started researching possible vacation watering systems. They all seem to rely on a reservoir and a slow drip delivery system.

Plant Nanny Add-A-Bottle comes with a hollow, terra cotta spike with a special adapter that allows recycled water bottles to be screwed in to the spike. You simply fill the bottle with water, screw it into the adapter and insert the spike into your pot. The terra cotta slowly releases water into the dirt and draws more water from the bottle as needed. Apparently there are too many factors at play to say conclusively how long the plant nanny will water your plants.

Moisture Absorbing Crystals are what I would have used if I was planning ahead. The crystals absorb moisture when the plants are watered and then slowly release the water back into the soil as the soil dries out. To use them, you mix them into the soil at the bottom of the pot before planting it. I guess it’s too late now to use them. Whoops.

Drip Irrigation Systems are great if you have access to a water faucet near your balcony/patio. I’ll have to check with my landlord and see if this is a plausible option for me. Basically, drip systems are water-efficient “sprinklers” that are great for container gardens (although they can also be used for in-ground gardens). There is a drip system that doesn’t require a faucet that I’m going to look into as well.

These are the possibilities I’ve found so far. Have you tried any of them, or do you know of another way to keep your plants watered while out of town?

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