How to take care and water the plants when we are on vacation
HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
WE LEAVE ON THE HOLIDAYS:
HOW TO TAKE CARE AND WATER OUR PLANTS
Plants are part of our life and even if we dedicate all our attention to it, there comes a time when we decide to take a vacation and panic at the thought: "How do I do with my plants?".
Personally I have a very nice neighbor to whom I leave the house keys and she takes care of checking and watering them. But if you don't have a trusted person to leave them with ... that's a problem. Do not choose a person at random: if you are not sure of the care and attention that this person will give to your plants, forget about it and rely on the precautions listed below. I say this from personal experience: a friend of mine, some time ago, offered to take care of my plants in my absence ... in addition to killing a fir that I had managed to recover from a Christmas and that I had by now for 5 years had also drowned a plastic plant that was on the table!
With this article, we will illustrate some ways that will allow us to leave peacefully and not have bad and sad surprises when we return.
First of all, some general rules that apply regardless of how we have raised our plants so far.
Leave containers with water close to pots whether the plants are outdoors or indoors. By evaporating the water will guarantee a humid environment and therefore also a lower transpiration of the plants with consequent lower water consumption.
Don't get dark but leave the shutters or venetian blinds open so that the room is illuminated. The plants that we usually keep in a sunny position or that during the day are in the sun, move them so that this does not happen so we would reduce transpiration and therefore water consumption.
If you are away for three weeks you can also slightly reduce the amount of light that reaches the plants with a slight dim light. In this case the plant will not suffer much, certainly not an ideal condition, but it will tolerate this situation for this short period of time. The dim light slowed down vital processes and therefore water consumption. If you are away for a longer time then it is not advisable as the plants would start to slide off that is to say the stems will lengthen, the plant will become pale and weak and this should be avoided.
If the plants are on the balcony take the precaution of arranging them all leaning against each other in the shaded or less sunny corner, making sure that they benefit from each other: the taller plants will shade the smaller plants and in turn the smaller plants with their vegetation will shade the soil of larger plants.
HOW TO MAKE THE PLANTS "SELF WATER"
Plants grown in HYDROPONICSthey don't have to give us any thought. We top up the water well before leaving and they will continue to vegetate without problems. Eventually we move them from positions where they get direct sun or pull the curtains, in order to reduce evaporation and perspiration and the problem is solved.
If you are only away for a WEEKEND OR 3-4 DAYSthere are no problems. Just water before you go a little more abundantly.
If you are away ONE WEEKthere are no major problems: water the plants abundantly before leaving and put peat or sand on the surface of the soil to reduce the evaporation of water from the earth.
However, if you are away for MORE THAN A WEEK, then the precautions to be adopted are different. These are self-watering systems. Let's see them.
One of the simplest systems for watering is that of COMMUNICATING SIPHON. For this you can use a large bottle for each plant or a large bucket for two to three plants (if they are not too big). The bottles or the bucket is placed near the plants at a height higher than that of the pots (in any case raised no less than 10 cm from the ground).
They are filled with water, placed near the pots and left uncovered so that with evaporation they guarantee a humid environment.
After which strips of wick are put (those used for oil lamps) or strips of filter mat (found at nurseries) or braided wool braids, long enough so that a part remains in the bottom of the bucket / bottle and the other end is inserted about 2-3 cm into the earth of the pot.
Thoroughly moisten the twigs or the strip of mat before placing them in the ground.
If the pot is large then arrange several strips per pot placed in different places in the soil, if anything, do some tests before you leave so that you realize the situation and know how many strips you need.
On the market there are less rustic devices that perform in the same way consisting of a tube and ceramic mushrooms.
When there are many plants, one can be used FILTER MAT to be arranged as in the figure on the left.
A part of the mat will be immersed in a basin filled with water which is located at a lower level than the plants (the mats, which are found by nurserymen, are sold with instructions that give ideal water levels). The mat should be laid out on a flat, water-resistant surface (the kitchen sink or a piece of hard plastic). The water will rise by capillarity into the ground and thus water the plants.
If the plants are large and require a lot of moisture then all that remains is the bathtub
This summer, since my neighbor couldn't take care of it like every year, I had to organize myself. This is how I did to find my gigantic and marvelous cupcake, theTOnthurium(among other things in bloom), the palm tree and theSpathiphyllumhe too in bloom, in good health.
I placed them in the bathtub, putting a plastic mat and grids on the bottom (so as not to damage the tub) and then I raised the plants or other pots placed upside down, so that they did not remain in contact with water or with various, fairly large containers recovered from the sideboard.
After that I took an old thin cotton rag and cut it into many strips (there was no time to go and buy ready-made strips). Then I took a few more large bowls and arranged them so that they remained at a higher level than the pots. So I filled the bowls with water and arranged the cotton strips so that one side would fit inside the bowl full of water and the other inside the earth.
Since I had to be away for a month, I used three large bowls.
Eventually I filled the tub so that the water did not come into contact with any of the vessels. I left a crack open in the window and obviously the shutter all raised and the door ajar.
Here is what I found on my return:
Plants in perfect health with the palm that had made another leaf, the luxuriant dracaena and she too with many new leaves and theAnthuriumand it Spathiphyllum flourishing as never before.
On the market there are, for not very large plants, i SELF-WATERING VASES.
These are vases equipped with a cavity where the water reserve is kept. This passes into the ground by means of special wicks or membranes (in practice the same system as the communicating siphon, only more refined). However, this system requires the plant to be transferred to these pots, so plan ahead.
The bottles of COMPLEX WATER which are found directly by nurserymen. It is a gel water made up of natural fibers (cellulose) and demineralized water. The microorganisms present in the soil degrade the cellulose gradually releasing the water for a variable time from 15-20 days depending on the packaging, the soil and the temperature of the environment. The bottle is inserted upside down in the ground as close as possible to the stem and in this way it will water the plant.
However, keep in mind that the self-watering methods are valid for periods not exceeding 3 weeks. If you are away for longer periods ... we think that a friend for the remainder of our vacation may not do too much damage ...
Here, these are our tips on how to return from holidays and not have any nasty surprises ... and your plants will thank you so much.
How to water your plants when you are on vacation
Our poor seedlings do not have to fear the loneliness of the summer holidays.
by Mariposa - August 3, 2016
The bags have been packed, the tickets and passports are ready and the house looks perfect to be closed for the summer holidays. There it is, the thought that it could ruin everything: what will happen to them plants, our wonderful vases, which we have looked after for a whole year and now could die of heat and thirst during the holidays?
The best thing would be to entrust the house keys to a trusted person who is willing to water them personally once a day. However, it is not always possible. If we have no one to turn to, we shouldn't despair, there are several convenient solutions.
Here's how to pamper plants during the holidays
In the garden, the most convenient solution is to set up a automatic irrigation system connected to an external tap. If you have pots, you need to move them close to the sprinklers. If, on the other hand, you do not have a green corner, you must choose a room in the house in which to create a suitable microclimate. It must be a room where you can leave the shutters open, or partially open, so that the plants have enough light. A small trick is to leave containers full of water near the plants: evaporating the water will ensure a humid environment and less transpiration. Now we come to the systems for watering plants when you are away.
GARDENA automatic irrigation system
With the smartphone, now, we can really do everything, even pamper our plants from a distance. FRITZ! DECT 200 takes advantage of AVM Smart Home technologies wherever you are: all you need is a mobile device (smartphone, tablet, laptop ... whatever you have, it will be fine), an Internet access to connect to your home or office network, the FRITZ! DECT 200 intelligent socket and an automatic irrigation system (the one you see in the photo is compatible and is sold by Gardena). The digital gardener is activated via the mobile phone or the MyFRITZ! Browser interface. In short, with a simple click our plants will have all the water they need.
Parrot flower power
Parrot revolutionized plant care with Flower Power. It is a plant sensor able to constantly monitor them according to four parameters, detected by as many sensors: exposure to the sun, the degree of humidity in the soil, the surrounding temperature and fertilizer levels. The device (on sale here) retrieves this data and sends it to our phone with a special App thanks to Bluetooth Low Energy. The database has more than 6 thousand plants, complete with technical data sheets and botanical tips. It's not all. IS waterproof, therefore it can be used both indoors and outdoors and is powered by a AAA battery (which lasts about 6 months - holidays shouldn't scare us). Flower Power can also be ideal if you do a job that often keeps you away from home.
Technology does not replace people, very true. However, it can put them online. It is with this logic that gogojobo was born about a year ago, an app that connects those who are offering a small housework (a repair, plants to water, repetitions between individuals) and those who are willing to carry out these occupations. If the neighbor or friend does not have time to devote to you, you could ask for help from gogojobo. The App will certainly help you select a person who lives close to you (you may even know them, because it can happen in small towns) who could take care of your plants in your absence.
There are not only apps and automated irrigation systems, such as the well-known drip, if you are a DIY lover, you could study some home systems to make your plants survive during the holiday week. They are all low cost ideas, easy to put into practice and functional.
Overturned water bottle
The most classic remedy par excellence is the overturned water bottle. How you do it? Fill a plastic bottle, make small holes in the cap (perhaps with the help of a hot pin) and insert it upside down in the soil of the jar. Then make a hole also in the bottom of the bottle to allow the water to gradually descend into the ground. Each pot must have its own bottle and usually meets the needs of a medium-sized plant for about 20 days.
The mats for domestic irrigation
In this case, you must absolutely group the small plants in the kitchen on the sink or in the bathroom (you need a flat surface that is not vulnerable to water). Take a cotton or hemp cloth rag or buy a special mat, sold by nurserymen with the instructions of the water levels (I honestly recommend this small expense because it guarantees the right water for the plants. The price is less than 10 euros and the found here). The mat should be spread on a flat, water-resistant surface, and the pots without pot holders and saucers should be placed on top. Part of the mat must fall back into a basin of water. The water will rise by capillarity into the soil and thus water the plants.
Another grandmother's remedy is that of woolen threads or cotton ribbons. What does it consist of? Group the plants, then place a large basin full of water in the center, making sure that the surface of the water is higher than the earth of the pots. Then take some wool threads, preferably intertwined with each other, and place one end in the water and the opposite end in the soil. As for the mat, the water will rise by capillarity.
How to water your plants when you go on vacation
Are you leaving for the holidays and have no one to take care of your plants? Don't worry: here are all the irrigation systems and do-it-yourself methods to go on vacation in peace and find all the plants in good health when you return!
You have cared for your plants with love until now, and now that you are about to leave for the holidays, you don't know how to ensure them the right amount of water they need to survive. The good news is that with a few tools and little expense, you can build a home irrigation system yourself. Let's find out together then how to water your plants when you go on vacation!
The bottle with the terracotta cone
If you are only going to be away for 2 or 3 days, just water all your plants abundantly, letting the saucer fill with water, while if you are planning a longer holiday, get some plastic bottles, this is one of the systems for watering plants during the holidays, the simplest and cheapest one. Fill a 1.5L bottle with water, remove the cap and replace it with a terracotta cone that you can buy in gardening stores or on Amazon then turn the bottle upside down and insert it directly into the ground. Make the terracotta cone sink completely and lean the bottle against the wall, or tie it to the plant trying to keep it vertical.
This system will guarantee your plant the right amount of water for at least 15 days, with a gradual release of 10 cl of water every 24 hours.
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The principle of communicating vessels
Another solution to ensure water for both indoor and outdoor plants is to fill a large 5-liter bucket of water and insert inside a strip of filter mat that you can find from nurserymen, or alternatively a cord of wool or cotton threads, to be buried directly in the pot. This system, which is based on the principle of communicating vessels, will provide 15 cl of water per day for About 1 month to a potted plant of 20-25 cm in diameter. If you have more plants to water, you can proportionally increase the capacity of the container and the number of cords to be immersed.
Gel water bubbles
If you are lucky enough to take long holidays, here is another solution on how to water your plants when you go on vacation: With the'gel water, in fact, you can feel comfortable for at least a month! You can find it in gardening stores or on Amazon in 400 ml packages suitable to ensure the sufficient amount of water for a 20 cm pot for 30 days.
The gel water bubbles must be mixed with the soil and positioned near the roots of the plant, the micro-organisms present in the soil will take care of breaking up the molecules and transforming them into water.
How to water indoor plants during the holidays
One last piece of advice for indoor plants is not to leave them in the house in the dark by completely closing the shutters before leaving for the holidays. Rather put them on the balcony next to each other in a shaded area or away from the sun and place several bowls full of water between the pots so that evaporation contributes to creating a humid microclimate.
Now that you know how to water your plants when you go on vacation, you are ready to pack your bags and leave in peace, on your return you will find the plants as beautiful as you left them.
Gelled water for plants
Gelled water for plants is a product composed of 90% of gelled water through a particular production process. The spheres are contained within a tube that must be properly inserted into the soil to a depth of about 2/3 cm. Thanks to the action of the micro-organisms present in the soil, the gel spheres will gradually and constantly disintegrate, transforming back into water, which is then absorbed by the roots of the plant. This process will guarantee your plant of survive for long periods, up to a maximum of 30 days depending on the size of the pot and the plant itself. In the event that the diameter of your pot is greater than 20/30 cm, just add a second package inside.
Physics comes to our aid and thanks to it we will sleep peacefully thinking about our plants. To carry out the so-called method of communicating siphon just place a large container (a pot is fine too) higher than the plant we want to water. Inside the pot, possibly close to the roots, they are buried woolen threads, strips of cotton - or other very absorbent material - yes immerse in the container full of water. This way the soil will stay moist even for one ten of days.
The best methods for watering plants when you go on vacation
There are always people who come up with a better way of providing potted plants with water when we are away for a few days. Here, in this article, I have chosen for you some of the good advice . Check.
If your departure lasts a week, up to 10 days, no problem . Water your plants well before traveling and leave them in a place sheltered from the wind. Yes, because direct wind dries the soil and helps increase the evaporation rate.
If the holidays are long and in winter, leave your potted plants indoors, near a sunny window and inside a basin of water. The roots of the plants will take care of the water that everyone needs.
In summer don't use this technique, because the water basin attracts mosquitoes, mosquitoes and you can come back and have a dengue fever hatchery or another tropical fever in the room.
Another good idea is to bring all the plants together in the bathroom, as long as it's not too dark because the plants, even on vacation, need light. Finish the bottles full of water in the pots, upside down - the earth aspires to everything it needs to rebalance its humidity.
Test first whether the mouth of the bottle needs to be opened, or a stopper with holes, or a cloth cap - this it will depend on the type of soil that you have in your pots, both sandy and looser. Leaving the potted plants all together in one small place will help form a humid microclimate for all the plants, which breathe, sweat, evaporate and reabsorb water from the environment.
It is also a good place to put all the pans on a soaked towel and, a part of the towel, inside a container with water . The towel will suck the water that the roots will absorb into the earth of the pots. In this case, cover everything with a mosquito net, due to the Aedes and Culex, which love a moist surface.
A more modern and practical method is the use of a drip timer. You will need to have a drip system installed on the pots and a clock that will turn the system on from time to time.
In the summer, when it always rains, leave your pots in the garden, under the trees that will protect them from the direct sun. Daily rain will buy your plants. But if any of them are too susceptible to excessive summer rains, leave this indoors with some of the tricks I mentioned above .
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The plastic bottle trick
The quintessential and simplest trick for watering plants is the plastic bottle . You simply need to make a small hole in the bottle cap with a needle. Slightly heat the needle so that it is easier to make the hole in the plastic cap. Once the hole is made, turn the bottle upside down in the earth, so you will constantly wet the soil with small droplets.
According to the size of the hole, the water will flow more slowly or faster. If you have exaggerated and the hole is too large, you can limit the water flow by putting a cotton swab inside the cap before screwing it on and voila!
5 tips to take care of your plants while on vacation
If you like gardening, you have certainly been taking care of your plants and flowers for several months, perhaps following the advice of our trusted gardener, Valerio.
In this article we asked him to collect the 5 most useful things he recommends to keep a green thumb even during the holidays and to ensure indoor and outdoor plants always the right level of irrigation.
The word to Valerio! Keeping plants and flowers alive and thriving when we are away for long periods is easier than you think. Just follow some of these little tips.
- We have always seen our mothers and grandmothers approach all the plants and flowers with each other before leaving for a trip. Have you ever thought about why? No, it's not simply for the convenience of watering them all together in no time! Leaving the plants very close to each other increases the humidity that surrounds them and makes each one benefit from the transpiration of the others. Of course it is important to gather the pots in a well-lit and possibly ventilated place, paying attention to direct sunlight that could "burn" your beloved plants.
- Another very useful trick that I always use too allows you to guarantee the right water requirement for your plants for the entire period of your absence: just get a plastic bottle for each vase, fill it and make small holes in the cap, helping you with a drill. Then insert the bottle into the soil of the pot, with the cap pointing downwards: the water will be released gradually depending on the humidity of the soil and the needs of your plants.
- It is also important to create the right ecosystem so as not to tire the plants too much. To do this, you could fill several containers with water and place them near or around the pots, whether you choose to leave them inside the home or prefer to use the garden or terrace instead. The water contained in these containers evaporates and makes the surrounding area more humid, allowing greater transpiration of the plants which therefore tend to require less water to remain luxuriant until your return. There is a downside though: mosquitoes! Use this method only if there are not too many in the area where you live, or use very fine mesh nets to cover the containers.
- If you do not have time or space to use the methods mentioned above on the market, there is a slightly more expensive solution, but still definitely valid in the event of prolonged periods of absence. These are hydrogel capsules, which you can easily find in specialized stores and even in some supermarkets. How do they work? They are inserted directly into the soil and gradually release the amount of water necessary to nourish your plants. Just follow the doses indicated in the package.
- Finally, the most complex solution, which you should consider in view of the next vacation, especially if you have a garden. This is automated timed irrigation, which allows you to divide your garden into different areas and set the time at which irrigation must begin and end. There are a multitude of options on the market, but we gardeners at Yougenio will recommend the right one for you and install it in your home, just use our irrigation system assembly service and request a free inspection.