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Don't laugh but...

MrsFoxgloveMrsFoxglove SurreyPosts: 180
Right long story short... i'm going on holiday for a week and there's no one around that can water the garden for me  :/
 I don't have an outside tape to set up any kind of irrigation system for my pots so my question is...

Will this work? 

I have lined deep boxes with polystyrene and a bin liner and filled it with water to stand my pots in while i'm away with the thinking that the pots will take up the water.

I will give all the containers a thorough soak & liquid feed before leaving them to stand in the boxes... any good? 

Can they drown? (I did say don't laugh remember!)  :D

Going away for a week and almost don't want to go incase my sweetpeas die  :/ :/
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Posts

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 3,435
    edited 13 July
    I'm not sure the roots would be that happy soaking water like that. They might rot off. You might be better off putting the water reservoir up top, with one of the drip bottle systems you can get. Also using water retaining crystals can help a lot, if you give the planter a thorough soak before going away. They do hold on to a huge amount of water. I've been experimenting with the crystals and they do work very well. 

    Also try putting your plants in shade, cutting off any buds or blooms and adding some kind of mulch to the pots - wood chip, gravels, pebbles, whatever.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,770
    A gallon zip locked baggie works for a drip system.  I've used it before on a week long vacation.  As Fire said, put them in shade, remove blooms, etc.  Then use a needle to poke a bit of cotton yarn/thread through both sides, trimming it at about three inches each side.  Fill the bag with water and shut tight.  It should drip for several days, giving plants water enough until your return.  I did have some problems with bags that sort of collapsed in a way that kept them from draining, so maybe tie the top to a stick in the pot to keep it upright.  Best to experiment with needle and yarn sizes too, to get the right drip rate.  
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  • FireFire LondonPosts: 3,435
    edited 13 July
    There's lots of systems out there. This one looks interesting too.
  • MrsGlazeMrsGlaze EssexPosts: 222
    That's a good idea to use the bag like that. When I went away last year I placed plastic water bottles upside down (lids on) into the soil of my hanging baskets and made a small hole either side of the neck so water could seep into the soil. I did a couple of trial runs before hand to check the water dripped out and it worked well. There are drip systems which are sold online that are very similar to this idea, using a nozzle which screws onto a water bottle and inserts into the soil.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 16,079
    how about putting a "shelf" of some sort to lift them up, put another tray on that shelf and put some cloth under the plants and down into the reservoir below . The fabric should soak up water by capillary action but the roots won't be in deep water?
    Would that be feasible? 
    Devon.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 11,830
    A cheap kids' paddling pool will be sturdier than your box, less deep and able to hold more plants so they'll all get water without drowning and also make a little transpiration eco-system of their own.  If it does rain, it will overflow more easily too.
    The Vendée, France
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 3,435
    edited 13 July
    There are lots of 'wick watering' systems out there too, Hosta. These days they are called 'hacks'. It seems.

    I'm interested in these systems for larger planters. I get the dripping/wicking bit but distrust the wicking capacity of the soil itself. It depends on the soil in question, but generally it seems you could water one half of a metre long planter and that half would be wet and the other half bone dry. I imagine media like peat would wick better sandy soils, but it's quite hit and miss, esp if there is a big root mass going on. I would like to know what helps planters wick better.
  • MrsFoxgloveMrsFoxglove SurreyPosts: 180
    Thank you all so much, i've done the  bottle trick a few times and it works well but only for about 2-3 days. I'm a flight attendant so am away often but never normally a week at a time like with my holiday.

    I should've asked for all your advise sooner as i'm going away Sunday and will be up to my eyes in packing for everyone most of tmr i'm sure   :open_mouth:

    Most of my pots are quite big so for those ones i'll do a few big bottles upside down in each but the smaller pots was what i was worried about. 

    I don't have to fill the boxes so high and I also have 4 boxes so can spread the smaller lots between them. I'm resigned to the fact that my basket will probably bite the dust  :'(

    I have a shady spot to put them in too, I was also thinking the water in the boxes creates a kind of moat as a defence against slugs seeing as I won't be here to do my nightly slug patrol  :D 

    Have a feeling i'm gonna be highly strung on holiday worrying about my plants ha ha 
  • MrsGlazeMrsGlaze EssexPosts: 222
    You never know if we get some rain this will not be such a problem, who would have thought we would be saying that! I hope you have a lovely holiday and your plants are keeping well when you come home :)


  • FireFire LondonPosts: 3,435
    edited 13 July
    I was also thinking the water in the boxes creates a kind of moat as a defence against slugs seeing as I won't be here to do my nightly slug patrol.

    Slugs are great swimmers, I don't think a moat would put them off at all. They might see it as a paddling pool. If you have hard surfaces away from plants, try a wide ring of rock salt. That should put them off. Or a plastic table etc with feet placed in saucers of salt.


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