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GENERAL GARDENING

9 Brilliant Ways to Water Your Plants While You Aren’t Home

If you’re heading on vacation and you have a few plants, chances are high that they’ll get more than a little wilted without a little water while you’re away. If you don’t want to pay someone to sprinkle the plants for you, take matters into your own hand and let them water themselves!

This list includes a few clever ways to make sure your plants get the water they need even when you can’t be there to do the job. You may like these ideas so much that you’ll keep at them even when you are home to save a little extra time!

1. Wick-it

Keep your plants fresh by creating a wick-based watering system. You’ll need thin yarn, rope or fabric (strips of a cotton shirt work well). Place one end of the material into a large container of water. Then bury the other end about three inches into the soil. The material will soak up the water and transfer it to the soil.

2. Create a slow drip

Snag a zip lock bag and a small needle (a size 8 to 12). Thread the needle with thin yarn and not it several times to avoid slippage. You’ll poke the wick through one side of the bag, pulling it all the way to the end. Fill with water and place it in your plant.

3. Bag-it

For this trick, you’ll want to place several plants in a clear plastic bag. (A towel on the inside bottom will keep it from tearing.) Next, pull the bag up over the plants (a blow in a bit of air) and seal it shut with a rubber band. The plants inside will produce water which drips back into the soil. Make sure you give your plants a good water before starting, especially if you plan to be gone for a week or two.

4. Use a plastic bottle

If you have a leftover water bottle on hand, you have your plant watering solution ready to go! You should have one water bottle for each plant. Leave the lid on (poking holes in the lid with a box cutter) and cut a medium hole at the bottom of the bottle. Fill the bottle through your new hole and place the water bottle (hole-punched lid down) on a watering tray. The soil will soak up the water (from the bottom) as needed.

5. Electronic sensor

If you are a little handy with electronics, this watering system may be a good option for you. The system takes a bit of time to build some basic know-how, but if you get it to work it’s the perfect solution for keeping your plants watered when you’re away.

6. Bottoms up

There’s more than one way to skin a cat (or in this case, use a water bottle to keep your plants wet.) For this version, cut holes into the lid with a razor blade or knife. After you refill the water bottle, turn it upside down (lid down) into the soil. The water will slowly drip, keeping the soil just as moist as it needs to be. (If you’re feeling fancy, grab a leftover wine bottle and use that instead!)​

7. Buried deep

Keep on recycling those old water bottles as plant feeders, by poking holes all over the bottle using a knife, scissors or razor blade. Try to space the holes out as evenly as possible.

8. Irrigation spikes

For less than $10, you can have a simple solution for watering your plants (indoors or outdoors) with little hassle. Irrigation spikes, like the ones below, attach to the top of a two-liter bottle in place of the lid. Simply fill the bottle, add the spikes, flip over and shove into the soil. Water will drip at a controlled rate. You can also use smaller bottles for smaller plants.

9. Watering globes

You’ve probably seen these around in a variety of shapes and colors. They’re popular for a reason: They’re simple and they work. Simply fill up the globe, insert into the soil and refill as needed. One tip: Move your plants out of direct sunlight when you’re away to keep from excess drying.

When you’re getting ready to head out on vacation, make sure to keep your plants cared for by using one of these fun ideas.

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