When I left for San Diego, I had a slight problem figuring out what to do with my plants. I procrastinated, checked the weather, and finally decided that I should bring them into the apartment to try to keep them alive. It was supposed to freeze the night I left and I wasn’t really going to take any chances. This winter has been weird.
I was gone from Wednesday to Sunday, so my plants would be without water for five days. There are a few options you can implement to ensure that they will survive.
1. Water the shit out of them before you leave. Keep in mind that most plants do not like to be over watered and that your love might kill them. I highly recommend that if you are doing this on carpet, you should put something under them so you don’t ruin all the things.
2. Cover them in plastic to keep the moisture from escaping. You can create your own little greenhouse or individually cover them in plastic bags. I’d recommend making your own little greenhouse/s, as it is less wasteful and reusable. I’m lusting after this one and this one, but those are expensive, so I will probably just make one at some point out of PVC and trash bags. I’ll post the tutorial later. In short, condensation is your friend.
3. Store them in an area that is conducive to keeping moisture inside. I opted for the bathroom. That also made it pretty easy to clean, since the floor is vinyl.
4. Beg a friend to love your babies while you’re gone. Sure, you’re putting their future in someone else’s hands, but it’s the best way to ensure that your domicile will look populated when you’re gone and your plants won’t wilt. That’s pretty much a win. Reward their hard work with cash or their favorite dessert.
5. Leave them outside. At this time of year there is still the possibility of frost, but if you have the ability to leave them out, go for it. Plants have survived for millennia outside. Surely you can leave them out for a few days while you’re gone. Rethink this step if your area is living through a dry spell, or the only space you have is a covered porch.
6. Use a self-watering apparatus. These are reusable and you can find a tutorial on how to do it pretty easily. For instance, this one from The Garden Glove simply requires a wine bottle and gravity. If you’re anything like me, you can g0 through enough wine to have enough for your plants by the time your trip comes around. If you aren’t a big lush, you can also go to liquor stores, ask your friends, or go to a local recycling center to find more.
7. Invest in permanent hydroponics. you can go the expensive route and buy something like an AeroGarden or create your own. Just cut a two liter in half, flip the top over, fill it with water on the bottom and dirt/plants on the top. This can also be achieved with a wine bottle, if you know how to properly cut them without exploding them into a shower of glass and blood.
There’s nothing worse than coming home to dead plants, but using these methods will ensure that you’ll come home to happy little plants. I’ve killed lavender too many times and didn’t plan to do it again. Thankfully, there’s always the internet.
What do you do with your plants on vacation? Have a tried and true method? Let me know!