Does anyone ever worry about how their plants will last while they are on vacation, and have to depend on someone to come in and water them? Well I have some solutions that I have used for years, and have never lost a plant yet, even if I'm gone for a month!
For Small Plants: I take a 3 foot length of candle wicking and poke it into the soil all the way down to the bottom. Depending on the size of the pot I poke more than one. I use one for a 4" pot, 2 for a 6", 3 for an 8", and go from there. I just take a pencil or something and poke it down, then pat the dirt around it good. Then I take some plastic parson's tables or other plastic tables and set them all in the bath tub.
I set the plants on the tables and hang the wicking into the tub. Then I fill the tub up with water to the bottom of the tables or as high as the tub will allow. The candle wicking acts like a sponge and draws the water up into the soil as it's needed.
For Large Plants (too big to move) : I again poke candle wicking into the soil. For a 12" pot I use 8-10 wicks. For these I make the wicking about 6 feet long. Next to each pot I put a large bucket of water, 2 buckets if necessary. I run the wicking into the buckets, but I put something in the buckets to hold the wicks in place.
Hanging Baskets: I do these the same way as the large plants only I put the bucket directly under the plant (if possible I put it up on a table or shelf as close to the pot as possible) and of course use longer lengths of wicking.
My plants have always done great this way and I've never had to worry about whether someone is actually coming in and taking care of them or not.
Also in each room where the plants are, I install a timer on a lamp so that it comes on and goes off at certain times so that they all get the light they need too. In each lamp I put a plant grow bulb instead of a regular bulb and no shade on the lamp.
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
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Submerge plastic jugs, bottles, etc. with a few small pinholes in the bottom between plants or rows of your garden. When you're away, just fill the bottles with water. The water will disperse slowly over the days and get to the roots of your plants.