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Long holiday

hello everyone
i have just recently joined GW magazine in the hope of advice and inspiration for our new garden in the south of France.
we have a worry if anyone could help us it would be most appreciated.
we are going on holiday for 4 months and leaving all our plants.
we live far away from anyone so it’s not possible to have help.
mostly they are cacti with a couple of exceptions.
i thought of using a gravity fed watering system on a timer run from a water barrel in a greenhouse.
But I wondered if anyone had better ideas or advice, especially for our adenium obesum.
unfortunatly it cannot be heated in the greenhouse.
The winters here can get cold sometimes last year it went to -5 but for only 4/5 days normally no colder than 3/4 degrees.
yours hopefully



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,261
    edited September 2018
    Welcome to the Forum.
    There are a few members who live in France/Spain/S.Africa and other hotter places but most are based in UK. I'm sure someone will be able to help.
    Where are you going, and can I come too?
  • Thank you 
    off to the Far East following the sun 😎
    only 2 suitcases but if you fancy a watering holiday in the south of France I know the place 
    no wages but good views 🤭
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,615
    I guess that your cacti don't need much water over the winter but it would be worthwhile to work out how much you would need for 4 months based on previous years. That should give you some idea of the size of water barrel you will need.

    One issue with most common water timers is that they need mains pressure to operate properly. Although you normally use a pressure regulator after the timer the valve in the timer normally needs to see 1-1.5 bar to operate correctly. If you are going to rely on a gravity fed system you would need to raise the barrel 5 metres above your watering point.

    Minimum temps might also be a problem,  looks like your adenium needs at least  10C. Has it survived lower temps previously?
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,261
    Thank you 
    off to the Far East following the sun 😎

    I don't blame you. We've been to Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos(briefly)Burma ( briefly ) but I can't be bothered with agro of the long haul flights now. 
    We go to The Gambia now , similar climate but only a 6 hour, due South flight so no jet lag or time difference.

  • Thank you for your advice,
    i have been using a gravity fed water system with large barrel to water my tomatoes and it worked ok although it does have its moments.
    will try to lift it higher thanks.
    i know our indoor plants like orchids will suffer or possible die just trying every option to save them.
    thank you
  • Hostafan 1
    we stay in Penang island great place to hop to all the places you mentioned.
    never been but Gambia sounds inviting.
    on another subject because of your name any advice on stopping slugs and snails eating our Hostas we have tried egg shells,pine needles ,Vaseline,coffee from our used Nespresso capsules but they still get eaten.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,261
    My advice for slugs/snails is have a pond , attract frogs and toads, encourage blackbirds and thrushes , make your garden attractive to hedgehogs and don't have a cat.

    The Gambia isn't The Maldives , by any stretch of the imagination,but it's not too far away and the weather is guaranteed and it's cheap to stay/ eat there.
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,570
    Hmm if you like the plants and want to keep them, perhaps advertise for someone to look after them at their house? I'm sure someone would do it for a small fee.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,526
    Hello David and Nastya,

    I don’t know about your specific plants but have used a rubber perforated soaker hose hose attached to water butts, which lasted a two week holiday, only a metre above the beds. I’m afraid I do always have a house sitter (relative or friend) as well, to look after garden, pets and house. A friend of mine regularly uses free house sitters from a site which I think is called housesitmatch or some such, peer reviewed, and she has never has any problems. You correspond and chat beforehand to make sure you and they are happy. For a month, might it be worth considering, for peace of mind? She always has a days handover so she can show them everything and make sure they have got the task list in hand!
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,570
    Hostafan1 said:

    The Gambia isn't The Maldives , by any stretch of the imagination,but it's not too far away and the weather is guaranteed and it's cheap to stay/ eat there.
    Sorry to derail.. but where do you fly from for 6 hours? can't find anything under 10 and 17!! return looks a great place to go and I could do with some winter sun, but for 17hours in transit.. ouch
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