3. Use large pots for flowers.
How: Use pots at least 12 inches in diameter, but aim for 16 to 24-inch (or larger) pots and keep them close to your house for the easiest access.
Why: Larger pots hold more soil and require less frequent watering.
4. Add water absorbing crystals to your pots.
How: Add a teaspoon to a tablespoon to each planter, depending on the size, and mix it into the soil at planting time. The water-absorbing crystals look like rock salt, but they soak up water becoming 10-20 times larger and then slowly release it back into the soil.
Why: The crystals help keep the water at the plants roots longer. This is my #1 tip to lush pots even in the hot heat of summer (see my other tips here – you won’t be sorry!).
Extra Tip: These crystals are sometimes hard to find, but you can usually find them in most nursery centers in the potting section as well as online at places like Amazon.
5. Use a kiddie pool for vacation watering.
How: It was so freeing when I discovered this technique! Instead of paying a neighbor or imposing on your family, place all of your small to medium (but of course, not that small, if you’re using tip #3!) pots into a basic plastic kiddie pool and fill with water. The water will last 4-5 days, even at the height of summer, before needing to be refilled.
Why: Your pots will take the water up from the bottom and stay hydrated for about five days.
Extra Tip: If your vacation is longer (like a full week) the pots may become waterlogged and show some browning, but they should bounce back once removed from the pool (unlike if they are burned from drought). I’ve found 3-5 days is about perfect, though I have used this successfully for week-long vacations.
So there’s my five tried-and-true watering tips to help us through the summer – what about you? Do you have some favorite tips you use to save water and time in the garden?
Be sure to read my gardening friends Tuesdays In The Garden articles, too, to help plan for summer garden success:
Tips for season-long vegetable success @ The Freckled Rose
Lasagna gardening @ Homemade Food Junkie
Vacation prep for gardens @ Simplify Live Love
Natural Ways to Fight Aphids @ Frugal Family Home