by Charlene Burgi
School is out, summer is almost here, vacation plans are fine tuned, and the final details of who is watching the dog, feeding the cat and picking up the mail are checked off the list. However, the pen seems to come to a halt as it crosses the line about who will take care of the indoor and outdoor plants that are not automatically irrigated.
Creative thinking is in order to ensure the health and welfare of plants that normally depend on your loving touch. I successfully used several methods over the years and found happy plants when I returned by employing the ideas below.
To irrigate your indoor plants, place all plants in a deep tray or saucer that can hold water and put them in an area where they will receive indirect light. Before leaving, fill the saucer or tray to the top with water. The soil will wick the water to the root system. Another method is to place a one-gallon jug of water by the plant and insert one end of a strip of material down to the bottom of the jug and place the other end of the cloth around the top of the soil in the container. Again, the wicking action will keep your plants moist. And of course there are containers with built-in reservoirs that self-water.
Normally I don’t recommend specific products, but this one is unique. “DriWater” can take care of plants for vacations lasting over a month. Simply place the gel on the soil and it keeps an even amount of moisture available to the plants. It can be used on both indoor and outdoor plants. See the following link for more details: www.driwater.com.
And for watering outdoor plants for the short-term vacation, fill a one-gallon milk jug with water, put the cap on it and insert a tiny pinhole in the side of the container. Set the jug with the pinhole facing the soil in the outdoor container. Before you leave, you may want to test how long it takes the container to empty and how well the plant responds to the amount of available water.
Attention: How many of you took pictures at the Eco-Friendly Garden Tour on May 15? We posted some pictures here, but are looking for lots more! Please send your digital pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post a selection of favorites—and give you credit, of course! (Please note that we cannot post photos with identifiable people in them.) This is a way to share all the gardens that many didn’t get to see.