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About Automatic Watering Systems

Indeterminate climate conditions will settle on many planting choices more troublesome this year. Before we discuss your particular question, let’ s discuss some fundamental ways you can help your plants get by without you.

Hold off attempting to build up any new plants or beds until fall. Plants are extremely powerless after their root frameworks have been aggravated, which frequently occurs amid planting. New transplants require the most elevated level of care, and are destined to be harmed on the off chance that they don’t get it.

Ensure all you’re existing plantings are fit as a fiddle. Weed completely, since weeds go after dampness. Ensure overnight boardinghouses are mulched, which preserves water and anticipates keep running off.

Give all your beds and specimen plants a thorough watering before you leave. Be sure and follow the water conservation guidelines for your state and locality. In most of Maryland, hand watering of gardens and shrubs is permitted, with a hose, watering can, or bucket. If you can use recycled or captured water, so much the better. In any case, less frequent but very thorough waterings are always preferable to frequent light waterings. Just time that last soaking session for the day before you leave. 4. Move containers into the shade, where they will stay cooler and lose less water through their leaves.

Automatic water systems can be a great help, but there a few things to note. You don’t want to use a sprinkler-based system, automatic or not, because they are wasteful of water and are now banned in many localities. Drip or soaker systems are much more efficient, and also help prevent water-borne fungal disease. A good system is not cheap, and there is always the possibility that it may malfunction.

If it fails to turn on, your plants could suffer. The worse alternative, though, is that it leaks or fails to turn off. This is an irresponsible use of water, and may even make you liable for penalties. A carefully-planned, high-quality automatic irrigation system may be a good investment, since it will not just help during vacations, but during your everyday gardening as well. It’s not, however, a project you want to rush into.

You can jury-rig a soaking system on a small scale by using gallon milk jugs with a pinhole in their base. Some garden supply stores and websites sell attachments for plastic soda bottles that accomplish the same thing. These are not long-term solutions, but they are cheap, and they might help you sleep a little better in your luxury resort room (or tent, if that’s your style.)

If you can find a reliable friend, relative, or neighbor to watch your garden, they can use their judgment in providing water when it’s needed, and give you feedback if you want it. Be sure to give them a tour beforehand, and make life as easy as possible for them by putting container plants together in an accessible (but protected) area.

Remember: it’s not their garden, and they won’t do things the way you do, so if there any minor annoyances or disappointments, get over it. Some of the more obsessive among us will want to monitor weather reports while we’re away, but there are better ways of spending a vacation than watching The Weather Channel 24/7. If you find a reliable garden-tender, you’ll want to recruit them in the future, so don’t scare them off with nightly phone calls or endless instructions.