Watering on holiday
Summertime is also holiday time and if no kind neighbour comes to water the pots and boxes, balcony plants may have died of thirst by the time you return. There are a variety of solutions to avoid this and these significantly differ according to cost, price and effectiveness.
Flower boxes with water reservoirs are perfect for short holidays, as you then don’t need to worry about watering your balcony plants. Fill this up and properly drench the soil before and afterwards and you will be alright for a few days, even in summer. Some models even advertise that there is no need to water for up to 10 days. You should first test this out under real conditions to see if this is really true.
This is basically a supplement to the flower boxes with water reservoirs. There are lovely, decorative water reservoirs such as the “Bördi” by Scheurich, which are simply inserted into the soil, or separate water tanks that hang on the pot. Small “drip irrigation aids” (Gärtner Pötschke) are also a very simple solution, which screw like a lid onto a PET plastic bottle. The bottle is then stuck upside down with the spiky drip irrigation end in the soil. The idea here is that the soil draws the water out of the bottle. Opinions are divided on the success of this measure. But basically a water reservoir in or on the pot is an excellent aid to bridge a few days without watering.
The most reliable way to water on holiday is, of course, an electronically controlled watering system. Gardena has specially designed starter sets for plant pots and flower boxes on balconies. An integrated time switch ensures that the plants are regularly supplied with water. If a suitably large water tank is available, there is also no need for a tap – and no fear of unwanted flooding. The starter sets can be expanded almost infinitely, for example, with rain or soil moisture sensors. Other manufacturers also have similar electronic irrigation systems, of course.
What kind of water is to be used for watering plants is also an essential question. High quality drinking water comes from the tap. If this is used to water the garden, it is a costly waste of an elaborately prepared resource. It is better to collect and use rainwater for watering plants. This is, of course, difficult on a small town balcony but it is often easily possible on or close to a terrace. There is no additional mosquito problem when a closed rainwater tank is used.