Gardening: How to create a watering tool for your plants

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Going away doesn’t mean you need to neglect your indoor plants or your garden. Whether you’re looking to preserve your garden or you’re more of an indoor plant enthusiast, the problem of how to keep them healthy remains the same. However, some solutions will ensure your blooms continue to flourish while you’re away from home and expert advice on when to water plants.

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Brody Hall, a certified horticulturist and co-founder of The Indoor Nursery suggests using a plastic covering that will keep the humidity levels high for both indoor and outdoor situated potted plants.

He said: “Instead of covering the entire plant and risk encouraging the infection of mould and mildew, the best approach is to lay down dampened mulch around the base of the plant then cover it with a dark plastic bag.

“This will help to insulate the plants so that they don’t lose moisture as quickly.”

When protecting your container plants the expert similarly suggests that a large bin bag will also work well. 

He recommends “tucking the bag in around the edges, between the potting soil and the sides of the pot for the best results”.

Another way to water plants while away from home is to use ceramic watering stakes.

Brody explained that there are two types of ceramic watering stakes that allow gardeners to water their plants while on vacation.

He said: “The first type allows wine bottles filled with water to be inserted directly into the top of the stakes. 

“Slowly over time, the water from the wine bottle percolates through the ceramic stake, watering the plant.”

Alternatively, the second method has a plastic tube that inserts into the top of the stake.

The horticulturist noted: “The tubing is inserted into a container of water and slowly siphons water from the container, percolates through the ceramic material, and into the plant’s growing medium.”

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When you’re clearing up the residue from your next garden party, it might be worth holding onto a few bottles as they can be of perfect use in the garden.

But how does this unconventional method work? 

Brody explained: “You can use these bottles to water indoor plants by filling the bottle with water and then placing it in the soil of the plant.

“Fill the bottle full with water, dig a hole with your finger wide enough for the neck of the bottle, and insert with the bottleneck facing downward into the soil. 

“The water will slowly release into the soil and help to keep the plant hydrated.”

However, while this method is a quick and effective solution, the expert warns that it is better suited for shorter vacations. 

He added: “The bottles will release water faster than the ceramic watering stakes. This makes it less suitable for vacations longer than a week.

If you’re wondering how to water your plants while on holiday, then mulch may be a simple solution. 

The gardening pro said: “Mulch helps to retain moisture and limits evaporation. 

“For indoor plants, mulching with sphagnum moss, coconut coir, or even decorative stones or pebbles works well.”

Meanwhile, for outdoor potted plants or garden bed ideas, it is best to opt for something that will survive harsher conditions like strong winds and sun.

Brody added: “The best options are pea straw, sugarcane, or bark mulch.”

For those who are planning on travelling for a more significant amount of time, or they’re frequent flyers, it may be better to invest in a self-watering system.

The system that works by slowly releasing water into the soil over some time is among the best ways to water outdoor plants while away, expert Rodger St. Hilaire from Gardening Boost suggests.

He said: “If you don’t want to buy a self-watering system, you can use a water timer attached to your hose. 

“This will automatically turn the water on and off, so you don’t have to worry about it.”

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