Vacation watering: 3 simple systems for watering plants

Today we are going to see three solutions for watering on vacation, three systems for watering plants when we are not at home. These simple self-watering systems for pots will help us to keep our plants alive while we are away from home, either on summer vacation, a getaway or for work.

Vacation watering: 3 simple systems for watering plants

Watering plants on vacation

This type of self-watering is also a good option for those who do not have a good hand with watering or have irregular schedules that can make them forget about cultivation tasks like this. Thanks to these home watering systems we will keep the humidity in the soil of the pots and our plants will not dry out due to lack of water.
Necessary materials

In addition, when using recycled materials we put another grain of sand to obtain a more ecological and sustainable vegetable garden or potting garden.

The materials that we are going to use to make the irrigation on vacations are very cheap and easy to obtain: a esparto grass string and recycled plastic bottles.


3 systems of irrigation on vacations: Self-watering for plants


Watering with esparto grass string and reservoir

This first vacation watering method is very similar to the one we talked about in the article on recycled self-watering planters.

The only difference is that, in this case, the water reservoir is not constituted by the pot itself, but is outside. Precisely as a reservoir I have used a recycled plastic bottle, but you can use any other container. The container or water reservoir (in my case, the plastic bottle) must have a small surface opening to avoid that much water evaporates with the high temperatures of the summer.

The only thing we have to do is to cut a small piece of esparto rope long enough to join the bottle to the substrate, as shown in the image on the left.

It is very important that the rope reaches the bottom of the bottle or tank, so that as the water is used up, the rope can remain in contact with the water. Finally, bury the other end of the string so that it does not come out of the substrate and you can go on vacation!

Vacation watering: 3 simple systems for watering plants
Three irrigation systems on vacation

Vacation watering with a recycled bottle

This method is based on burying a recycled bottle full of water in the substrate so that the water passes to the substrate the second it is needed.

You only have to take a plastic bottle, it can be of any size, but keep in mind that the more capacity it has, the more watering autonomy, that is to say, the longer it will last.

Cut out a small square from the “bottom of the bottle”, that is to say, from the lower part. The cutout must be large enough so that we can fill the bottle from the outside, but keep in mind that the larger it is, the greater the evaporation of the stored water.

Once the hole is cut out, you only have to bury the bottle upside down, with the nozzle in the substrate, and fill it with water through the hole we have previously cut out.

I recommend that, before burying it, you remove the cap from the bottle and plug the nozzle with a ball of cotton cloth. I did not do this and put the bottle in the substrate with the nozzle completely open; the result: a “flooding” of the terrace. With the nozzle plugged with cotton the water will not pass through so easily and you will avoid unwanted puddling.

There are also other variants, such as burying it with the cap on, in which we have previously made a hole so that the water can pass from the bottle to the substrate. With this system, the plants last quite a long time without needing any other type of irrigation.


Watering in vacations by means of Aqueous Gel

As I have commented in the video, I have decided to show you this “method of irrigation in vacations” because it has a very simple operation and can be a good alternative to the others. In addition, the gel bottle is smaller than the bottles and goes more unnoticed, for those who are more concerned about aesthetics.

I also decided on this type of self-watering system because of its price. As I explain in the video, it cost me 99 cents, and has an autonomy of between 15 and 30 days, depending on environmental conditions and the plant. (If you are interested in other keys to make a cheap urban garden I leave this link with other tricks to save when making a garden).

The operation of this self-watering system is very simple. First, you must water the substrate abundantly. Then, make a small hole in it and bury the watery gel pot upside down. Of course, don’t forget to uncover the pot before burying it!

Now you have no excuse to grow all year round, even when you are going to be away from home for a while, as we have introduced you to several methods of vacation watering. In the post about recycled self-watering pots we have another option. As you can see in the photo, it is a plastic bottle vegetable garden with a built-in reservoir so that we do not have to water.

Vacation watering: 3 simple systems for watering plants
The three variants of self-watering planters made from recycled plastic bottles

Videotutorial for making a homemade self-watering system