Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Self-watering systems
Asking family and friends to take care of your place when you’re on vacation is always one of those tasks you sort of dread.
Pick up the mail, stop by to see the cat, make sure it hasn’t shredded the curtains, flip the lights on and off and water the plants. Some of this can now be don remotely, but not so much the plants. Remember all those “As Seen On TV” ads for Aqua Globe? It’s a beautiful handblown glass water delivery system. They still sell them!
You water your plant thoroughly till it drains out the bottom, always emptying the saucer and then you fill this glass globe with water and insert it in the base of your plants root system. As the soil dries out, it releases oxygen into the globe, which then releases water into the soil. The idea works, however, the claim that this would keep the plants watered for 2 weeks is a bit of a stretch. Unless you’re putting that globe in a 4 inch pot, there’s not nearly enough water to satisfy your plants thirst.
There are now terracotta watering stakes.
The Water Worm looks like a long tube that sucks water from your own glassware into your plant. Not sure if I’d trust this one, considering they claim it will work up to a month! But I guess you only know when you try, right?
There are more but they all water your plants slowly for anywhere from 3 to 7 days. There are plastic bottle stakes too. They’re terracotta stakes with plastic adapters to attach to water or soda bottles up to 2 liters in size. That means you have to have a pretty large plant AND it will last longer. Not quite sure how pretty it is but you’re on vacation so what do you care what it looks like! It’s called the Plant Nanny.
Click for a DIY for outdoor self-watering containers from the University of Maryland extension.