Monday, 15 August 2016

Watering plants when you are away

2L pop bottle
It wasn't too bad.
Not to bore my faithful readers with our travel photos, I've been changing it up. I haven't even posted them in order! You can see the overview, with links here: The ongoing saga of our Toronto/Muskoka trip!

My main concern, while away, were my outdoor plants. The cats were safely ensconced at the cat hotel. Some plants are simply seasonal, others I bring in for the winter. I've been hand watering them during the drought, and didn't want to lose them.
grape juice container

I spotted this idea using an expensive duhickey you could buy on a Marilyn Dennis show while working out, and figured I could make them.  The duhickey fits into the lid. I wanted a drip irrigation system. The question: What kind of container?

I used a wine bottle, 2L pop bottle, small pop bottle, plastic juice container, and a recycled windshield washer fluid bottle. Also, the plastic from a 4L wine box. (Please don't judge me!)

The second question, how to make the hole. Some cut holes with a small penknife in the lid, or on the bottom of the containers. I would have experimented with that, but just went for it and drilled a small hole (1/8" drill bit) in the lid of the containers, except for the wine bag!

the pumpkin in the veggie garden
was on its own!
I set them up a week before we left, experimenting with the planter type and the location and the container. The wine bottle needed to have the plastic in the top of the cap removed. It worked poorly. The windshield washer fluid container was the best!

The softer the container, the faster it all drained out. The grape juice bottle was the better, although the amount in the pop bottle kept it going for several days. The trick, as I read online, is to ensure that the container's soil is wet to begin with, which slows and regulates the seep of water. Happily, it rained the Friday we were way (we were away from Thursday morning to Monday afternoon). I think that saved me!

Butch raccoon kindly snapped a nice bite hole in the wine bag, which didn't matter much.


Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Yes it's a pretty good method, one I used when I had such things to care for back in Sydney... though more for indoor plants, to be honest.

.... but who could get bored with your photos??!!! YAM xx

William Kendall said...

Creative ideas. I've only got a cactus inside, which doesn't need much attention and somehow has managed not to die yet at my hands, which is something of a miracle.

Anvilcloud said...

Always a problem. We've stayed close to home this summer. We can rely on a good neighbour if necessary.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

your yard looks great and I'm glad it did well whilst you wre away.

Red said...

It takes a lot of preparation to go away for a few days. You had some ingenious ideas.

Nancy J said...

Ingenuity galore at your place, here we can buy little tops that go into soft drink plastic bottles, and the water drip feeds out.And another way. have a deep pipe go into the ground nearby, and set the bottle on top of that. But I could see your friendly racoons having great fun that way. Lovely flowers.

jandi said...

I'm glad your plants survived! I might try your method in future! have a beautiful week!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Pretty creative way to allow the plants to survive. My problem is feeding the fish and replenishing the water in the aquarium, as we are often away for 4-6 weeks at a time. I rigged up an 8-gallon container and a float valve which works very well to make up for evaporation. The food almost always runs out but I do not know how long it lasts.

Powell River Books said...

Good to know this time of year. I can't leave more than three days or my pots and even my float garden gets too dry and the leaves start to wilt. - Margy

Maria Gloria D'Amico said...

Eu gostei a ideia. Muito interessante. Aproveitamento, é inteligente, parabéns.
As flores estão lindas. Encantada.