As the holiday season approaches, the anticipation of festive celebrations and travel plans fills the summer air. For gardeners across South Africa, this is a time to celebrate the hard work we’ve put into our green havens.
Whether you’re planning a getaway or just a few days away at the beach, it’s crucial to ensure the well-being of your potted green companions back home – especially in the blazing summer heat. Whether you have a container garden on your patio or balcony or converted your apartment into an indoor-plant haven, keeping your potted plants hydrated in your absence is an essential aspect of successful gardening. That is why we’ve compiled a list of innovative and effective holiday plant care strategies, including a few self-watering systems and some additional pot plant hydration methods to keep your potted friends flourishing while you savour your holiday moments.
DIY Watering Systems
Whether you’re a seasoned plant parent or just starting your green journey, use these DIY watering systems to ensure your indoor foliage thrives during the heat waves
Water-Wicking Drip System:
Craft a DIY string drip system by placing a water-filled container (like a bucket) next to your potted friends. Be sure that the container is elevated enough so that it is higher than your pots. Now run strings from the container to each pot, allowing water to drip slowly onto the soil. Use cotton string as cotton is the most absorbent. Ensure the string is covered with the soil in your pot, and that it is at the bottom of your water container on the other end. You can tie a rock on this end to guarantee that it stays at the bottom throughout your absence.
Water Bottle Drop System:
Create a water bottle drop system by poking small holes in the lower end of a plastic bottle. Fill the bottle with water and invert it halfway into the soil, allowing a slow release of water. Adjust the number of holes based on your plant’s water requirements.
Water Bottle System (Wine Bottle Method):
Stick a wine bottle with holes in the cork into the soil of your potted plants. The cork acts as a regulator, releasing water slowly to keep the soil consistently moist. This simple method is particularly effective for smaller plants. Be sure to test it before leaving as the soil might block the water flow. A week before you leave, use a permanent marker to mark the water level, and monitor if it lowers. If not, make sure that the soil isn’t blocking the holes in the cork.
Enhance your pot plant hydration strategy by placing bigger saucers underneath them. This creates a reservoir for water, providing an extra layer of protection against drought. This method is especially beneficial for plants with higher water needs.
Neighbourly Garden Watch:
Form a gardening alliance with a neighbour who shares your passion for plants. A plant-sitting arrangement ensures that someone familiar with your garden’s needs can step in to water and check on your plants regularly. Offer a detailed care guide, and perhaps reciprocate the favour when they’re away.
Water-Absorbent Materials for Effective Plant Care:
Investigate advanced solutions such as water-absorbent materials, like hydrogel crystals or coconut coir, mixed into the soil, or add clay pebbles (also known as Leca balls) on top of your soil. These materials can retain water for extended periods, offering a reliable and efficient way to keep your plants hydrated.
What to do Before Embarking on Your December Escape:
- Before leaving for the holidays, be sure to replenish old and nutrient-depleted soil. And if you’re not sure if you are using the correct potting soil, use our guide to choosing the correct soil.
- Does your pot plant have enough nutrients to get them through the harsh summer heat? Nourishing your potted plants effectively before you leave is essential for their health and vitality. For a quick and easy solution, We’ve compiled a guide to nourishing your pot plants naturally with everyday household ingredients.
Are your potted plants placed in the correct location? When planning on leaving, move them out of direct sunlight, or group them to create a microclimate with higher humidity.
Now Savour The Moment!
Your December holiday adventures should be stress-free, and with these strategies, you can ensure your garden thrives in your absence. From smart solutions to time-tested techniques and innovative DIY methods, there’s a pot plant hydration method for every gardener. As you bid farewell to your home for a while, rest assured that your potted companions will be thriving in their own oasis.
Wishing you a delightful holiday season filled with joy, and may your garden continue to flourish in your absence!
Show us how you are taking care of your pot plants this summer by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram. Head to your nearest Makro, Builder’s Warehouse or Game today and be ready for any season with Garden Master! Visit our website for more.