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A guide to holiday watering


“Help I’m off on holiday next week and my blooming garden (which is looking the best it’s ever looked) is going to die without watering.”

To solve this common problem, Colin Dale – resident plant buyer and horticulture expert at Notcutts advises the following top tips to keep your garden watered while you’re away:

Ensure your plants have the moisture they need

If you flood water your plants before you head away and cover with a mulch or compost, it will seal as much moisture in from evaporation and the water will saturate further down into the soil. This will encourage the plant roots to grow deeper and as the soil dries out from the top down will still find the moisture they need.

Shop bulk bags of compost and mulches online, from £134.99.

For potted plants and trays, you can use Capillary Matting although this is normally used for tray inserts, it can also be used to absorb water from a bucket or the sink to water the plants. The matting absorbs and holds the water, which is in turn drawn up by soil in pot plants positioned on the matting it to keep them moist as long as your silage permits.

Give your plants some shade

While you’re away, be sure to move containers into the shade. Regardless of whether you’re going away in the height of summer, if you are able move any containers into the shade to stop them scorching on any exceptionally hot days, if your away keeping them out of direct sunlight will stop them from drying out as quickly.

Get a little help from your friends

Don’t forget that you can ask a neighbour or friend to help whilst you are away. If you’re going to ask a neighbour or a friend, try and ask them to water in the evening so as not to scorch leaves in the mid-day sun and prevent evaporation of water in the heat of the day.

Try an automatic self-watering system

Alternatively, you can opt for a Self Watering System. These can be a great device even if you’re not on holiday, just because you’ll have fewer jobs and more time to enjoy the garden, it also means you can get right to the back of the hard to reach beds so you won’t miss an area again!

Visit the Watering section of our online shop  for loads of automatic watering components.

You’ll also find that the delicate sprayers and nozzles are more environmentally friendly and softer on younger plants. Once you have set up dripping pipes to your favourite hanging baskets, pots through beds and planters, simply attach it to a timer which will switch the water on however frequently you require. If you don’t need to water plants and pots you can also use a timer on a standard hose to top up bird baths, ponds or just get the sprinkler on the lawn. Don’t forget water at night to prevent scorching and evaporation of water.

Do-it-yourself self watering system

If your budget doesn’t stretch to an automatic system, try using Watering Spikes on plastic pop bottles All you need to do is get an empty plastic bottle and pop it on your orange spike and insert to your pot. Fill it up before you go and these will then drip feed for a few days. Perfect for that weekend away!

Points to note!

As with all garden watering it’s important to water responsibly and use water as sparingly and as carefully as possible. Wherever possible, plan planting around saving water. Try using Water Magic Crystals mixed in with compost at the start of the summer to keep water locked in. Harvest water in a butt (we sell two sizes online) and always watch the weather so you don’t over or under water.

We sell Water Magic Crystals online! We have two sizes available:
500g , priced at £4.99
100 treatment hanging basket pot , £8.99