Most of my plants are in unglazed terracotta pots so water evaporates quickly. I normally have to water my plants daily during our hot, dry summers. I once unexpectedly had to leave my plants alone for a week during the summer, which is pretty much a death sentence to a container garden. I didn't have time to work out a drip system so I moved all of my plants to a shady area of my patio, watered them thoroughly, and wrapped them in plastic bags. I was pleasantly surprised to find all of my plants alive and in good condition. Not only were they all alive, but one of my lilies had bloomed.
Plastic Bag Wrapping Method (Recap):
- Plastic Bags. I used the kind that stores use to bag your purchases. Just make sure there are no holes in the bags.
- Move the plants to the shadier side of your apartment patio/balcony.
- Just before you leave, water the plants thoroughly (i.e., until water begins to drip from the bottom of the container).
- Wrap each pot in plastic bags to prevent water from evaporating. Just set the pot in the bag and then tie the bag around the base of the plant. Try to tie the bag as close as possible to the trunk or stem of the plant. As water rises it will hit the plastic ceiling, and drip back down to the plant. Just make sure there are no holes in the bags you use.
Three Week Vacation
It is chilly and humid now so there will be less evaporation. Some of my plants are dormant now so they will not be needing as much water as they did during the summer. However, I do not believe my plants will be able to sustain themselves for 3 weeks on the wrapping method alone. I'm going to combine the wrapping method with a drip system for my large potted plants. Then I'm going to have a friend care for the bulk of my seedlings. I will use some of my duplicate seedlings to see if they survive the 3 weeks in a green house system I have in mind for them. I'll report my findings in January. Happy Holidays Everyone!
UPDATE: My experiment worked! Click Here to learn how you can make your own Container Watering System.