When You Go Away, Your Plants Will Stay... Alive!

Introduction: When You Go Away, Your Plants Will Stay... Alive!

Keep your plants watered while you go away on vacation

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Step 1: Get the Stuff

You'll need:
1 - a bucket (or small waste bin) 5$
2 - 1/4 inch tubing. I got some drip irrigation tubing. It was the smallest & cheapest there. 13$ for more than I'll ever need
3 - as many of these as you need holes. They are rubber doughnuts with a grove on the outside. Get it the same diameter as your tubing. It will fit snugly and there won't be any leaks. Or messy silicone or epoxy to seal it. 4$

I was doing this last minute, so I went to Home Depot and probably spent more than I should have. But I want my balcony tomatoes to survive my 10 days away from home. And in this heat, they need to be watered almost every day...

Step 2: Make Your Holes

Trace a straight line near the bottom of the bucket and parallel to the surface your gonna place it on.

Drill as many wholes as you need. I drilled them 1/4 inch, but had to make them bigger until the rubber doughnuts fit through the holes. Start small and then use a knife to make it bigger.

You want to keep the edges clean so the doughnuts are sung to the surface.

Step 3: Insert the Tubes

Cut the tubes a little longer then you think you'll need, and then cut them when you install you this do-hickey
Gently slide in the tubes until they are a quarter to half inch inside, they should fit very tightly into the doughnut. So don't push too fast.

Step 4:


Install on a stable surface well above your plants, drop the tubes straight to the planters, don't let the tube sag.

Place some plastic wrap, tin foil or Plexiglas with a weight to keep the water from evaporating from the bucket, and to keep bugs and leaves from getting in.

Last step: Enjoy balcony tomatoes!!

Option step: decorate your bucket...

Step 5: And to Test Drive..

Lesson n1: When posting an Instructable, always test your stuff first!!

When I set this up, the water came shooting out!
So I made a loop and clipped it almost closed with a clamp (office supplies)
Basically, I adjusted it to a drip...

I will probably repost the results when I get back from my vacation in September... so stay posted!!

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    4 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    You could add cheap air flow valves for the "aquarium tubing". They are adjustable air flow type that can be added in line to control the water flow. They can be purchased from a local pet shop.


    9 years ago on Step 5

    you could by drippers they hook up to the hose


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Basically it is a rain barrel for indoor plants? What prevents all the water from simply flooding the pots and pouring all over the floor? I have seen a lot of instructables for watering plants and they use wicking or a vacuum effect to regulate the water. Or is this simply to feed self watering pots?

    Montreal Muriel
    Montreal Muriel

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Good point. This is actually for my balcony tomatoes, so I didn't think too much about debit rates. Proper calibration would be imporant for indoor or undrained planters. Also, becasue it is open, my firnd who is checking in on the plants can just top it up intead of having to break a seal. This is a stop gap measure, I already have the planters and the plants are already pretty grown in. Especially the tomatoes are tied to the balcony, so it's too late to change the pots. But thanks for the input!