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There are lots of household chores to take care of before going on a vacation: board the dog, clean the fridge, empty the trash, and so on. Yet another must, at least during the gardening months, is asking a friend or family member to water your plants—there’s nothing more discouraging than nurturing blooms all season long just to have them wither while you’re away. But now, with this DIY self-watering system, you can cross that one off your to-do list. Sound complicated? Not in the least. All it takes is a capped bottle and some good old-fashioned H20.
Before you can begin, you’ll need to saturate the soil in all of your planters. Next, gather your bottles: You can use virtually any bottle with a cap, keeping in mind that 8- to 12-ounce bottles work well for smaller-size pots, while a wine bottle will better quench the thirst of larger planters. Make a small hole in the cap or cork by hammering a nail all the way through. Fill your bottle to the top with water and place the cap back on. Then flip the bottle upside down and bury it about two inches into the soil. As the soil dries out from your last watering, fluid will slowly drip from the bottle into your soil, ensuring that your plant receives just the moisture it needs to thrive.
A standard-size bottle should last about three days in a small- to medium-size planter, but if your trip is a bit lengthier, consider adding a second bottle on the opposite side. Once the system is in place, all that’s left to do is enjoy your time jet-setting!