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Tricks for leaving already potted plants moist?

BA283BA283 Posts: 21

I have a number of potted plants on my south facing balcony.  Are there any tips and tricks for keeping their soil moist over summer, particularly for periods when no one is in the house?

For instance, I have been googling and came across this video

It seems to suggest a good trick is to put fill up a bottle with water, puncture it with a few holes and then leave in the soil.

Are there any other tips that work really well?  For instance..mulching?

Slightly overwhelmed by the different ways I could go about this!



  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,947
    I tried the leaky bottle method once while on holiday, it didn't work. It's so difficult to get the flow correct.  I've also tried the plastic ziplock bag with string threaded through as a wick.. also didn't work.  

    Best thing I've found is a soaker hose on an automated timer switch.  Just line your pots up according to water needs.. those nearest the start get the most water.. those near the end get less.  If a pot is large and thirsty, you can circle the hose around once or twice to increase water.
    Utah, USA.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,129
    For holidays I used to put my big pots all in a group at the back of the house - baskets and window boxes too - and then set a sprinkler on an automatic timer to go off for 40 minutes or so every night around 2am so plants got a drink and soaked it up before the sun came up.  I had another hose heading off to the greenhouse and attached them using a Y connector below the timer - simple Hozelock battery powered device.

    We'd come home to healthy plants.  For the rest of the year it's a case of putting the pots where you want them and watering as needed - daily in hot spells, less in at other times - and making sure the pots were big enough for the plants' needs and that their compost was refreshed and top dressed every spring.

    When I had lots of smaller pots of divisions and seedlings growing on to a decent size for the garden I'd keep them in an old plastic paddling pool which reduced watering and which I could drain if it rained too much for them.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BA283BA283 Posts: 21
    Great ideas, thank you!  The problem is I live in an apartment on a high floor in London so no access to a greenhouse or anything with a sprinkler :(  Sad times.

    Do any of those ideas work if tweaked for an apartment dweller in some way? 

    Thank you
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,206
    I used  put mine in the bath - not ideal but they were alive, if a bit leggy, when I got back.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,947
    You can buy bag watering systems, or DIY your own gravity fed system.  

    Image result for diy greenhouse gravity watering system
    Utah, USA.
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