Self-Watering System

Question:

We are going on vacation and I would like to know about the self-watering system for plants using gallon milk jugs. I remember something about putting rocks in the jug, poking holes and sticking it in the ground next to the plants. We will be gone about 2 weeks. Do you have any information about these "watering jugs"?

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Thank you for your reply.

Hardiness Zone: 8a

Ruby from Cave Junction, OR

Answer:

Ruby,

The self-watering system you're referring to is made by poking a couple of holes in the bottoms of milk jugs, filling them with water, and setting them near the plants you want to water. You can put a few rocks inside the jugs to keep them from blowing away in the wind. Two weeks is a long time without water, so make sure to test this system out before you leave for your vacation. You may need to adjust the holes (make them larger or smaller) depending on how fast the water is seeping into the soil. Also, make sure you water well and start with moist soil before setting up your self-watering system. An alternative to the milk jugs would be to apply a thick layer of straw mulch over the entire garden, and then water it deeply (giving it 3 to 4 inches of water) either the night before or the morning you leave for your trip. The mulch will help the soil retain moisture, prevent weeds from growing and act as a natural fertilizer as it breaks down. Make sure you thoroughly weed the garden before you apply mulch.

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July 7, 20060 found this helpful

While on vacation for "over" two weeks I used the Wicking system. Buy "cotton" rope (soaking it all night in water) put one end in a 5 gallon bucket of water and bury the other end alittle under the soil of the plant. I had good results with mine!

You can check out books on this very thing at your public library. Good Luck!

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July 9, 20060 found this helpful

I wasn't sure if you were talking inside or outside plants.

We use to go away for a month in January and I put plants in plastic bags. Hanging plants I used dry cleaner bags.

Tip, watering succulent plants and putting in plastic, I found they rotted.

Works great.

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November 8, 20060 found this helpful

I leave my houseplants, for the summer season, while I go north. I get drycleaning bags, seal the little opening at the top,set the plant or plants,(depending on size) inside (bottom of pot sitting on the sealed hanger opening), water plant, place a glass of extra water next to plant, place stick or pole into pot, pull bag up to top of pole and seal. I secure mine with pipecleaners. Good for 4 months on most of my indoor plants. Little greenhouses!

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