Despite the best of intentions, plant loss because of improper water management is an all too common occurrence. Left alone, plants dehydrate and slowly lose their ability to photosynthesize or convert energy from the sun to usable carbohydrates. But this is preventable. Utilizing self-watering devices takes the forget factor out of irrigation. Devices range from simple to complex. Even homemade solutions are possible.
Your plants have been selected with care. They have been lovingly planted. Visions of a thriving garden stream through your head. Then it happens -- either you become overzealous and water too much, or you become busy and forget to water altogether. Either way, it may be beneficial to consider a self-watering device. They come in a range of styles and varieties.
Drip irrigation is a useful tool for the home gardener. The system is connected to a hose bib. Water runs through hose-like tubes, which are easily attached and movable on top of the soil to the root zone. Different emitters are available to control the type of flow of water from the tubing to the plant. This process takes the guess work out of how much and when to water. Timers are available to turn the water on and off, so plants can be watered on selected days and times for optimal water usage. Sprinklers are another common self-watering device. Very simple watering devices can be constructed using recycled materials, such as plastic soda bottles.
There are a number of self-watering devices for container plants. Simple glass globes filled with water are attached to spikes and inserted into the soil, and water is taken up by the plant as it needs it. Planters with built-in water reservoirs are another option. Wicks are also available. These are materials connected to water and dug into the soil of the plant to allow constant access to water.
Self-watering devices are an ideal solution for the busy gardener who finds it difficult to water plants consistently. Devices such as the water globes, wicks and specially designed planters provide water as the plant needs it. Water is applied at the root zone, under the soil, which allows for a minimum of waste from evaporation.
Setting up a system such as drip irrigation may take some time and figuring. Once in place, the homeowner will save time and money, but the set-up can take effort, and the systems need to be checked periodically for damage. Devices such as water globes are pretty but breakable. For this reason, it is best to use a device that is suitable to your household.