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Watering plants while you go away is always a problem. If you’re off for over a week then you’ll need to swap favours and ask a friend or relative to help, but if it’s only for a few days, then here’s a nifty solution! I came across these self watering spikes online and decided to give them a go.
It’s a good idea to set them up even if you’re staying at home, as they take the pressure off with watering duties, and you can just top them up and go. They allow your plants to drink as much as they want over a couple of days and water isn’t wasted, as it doesn’t evaporate or drain away too quickly. If you live in a hot climate then they prevent the plants from wilting under the midday sun, and also they prevent fungal diseases that often occur to the leaves of plants when the conditions are too cool and damp.
They are extremely easy and quick to set up. All you need to do is make two holes in each spike (to do this I used a darning needle heated over a flame), one hole at the tip, and the second one 3 inches further up, this creates a vacuum when it is attached to the full water bottle, and that means the water doesn’t drip out too fast. Then you just screw the spikes to 2 litre plastic water bottles and ‘plant’ them a few inches away from the plant you want to water. Sometimes the bottles may need support, but I usually find they can be propped next to the wall or fence, or the plant’s own supporting cane.
I ordered a set of these self–watering spikes at the beginning of the season and as you can see my plants were very happy! Especially the corn and sunflowers which are always so thirsty. I shall definitely use them again next year, as they give you a lot more freedom, the garden thrived and I didn’t feel such a slave to the watering.