In the hot summer months, you my find yourself out in the garden watering your container plants every day – even twice a day on very hot and dry days. If you want to go on vacation for a few days and don’t have a drip system, you’ll need to have a “plant-sitter” come over and water your plants.
Balcony container gardens, which often don’t have water hose hookups, are a pain to water, and container plants dry up quicker than plants with their roots in the ground. If you can’t install a drip irrigation system, don’t worry. You can either use watering bulbs in each container or make your own self-watering plant containers.
Self-Watering Plant Container Shopping List
- A new plant container
- Peat moss
- Lantern wicks
You may want to purchase self-watering containers outright, but if you already have a lot of containers, try double-potting. Find a plant container that is about 4 inches larger in diameter than your current container. It should not have drainage holes on the bottom. This is the container that will be displayed on the outside, so make sure you like the look of this container. You may want to repot your container plants into cheap black nursery containers or recycled plant pots, and place those into the containers you like in your garden.
Place the peat moss in the bottom of the container, and put the plant and its container inside of the new container. Stuff the sides with peat moss, as well. Cut several lengths of lantern wick, which you can purchase at a hardware store. Place one end of the wick several inches down into the peat, and place the other end several inches into the potting soil in the inside container. For larger containers, use multiple pieces of wick. After putting the wicks in place, water the outer container. The lengths of wick will soak up the water and transfer it to the inner plant container. This watering system will keep your potting soil moist for a few days.