3 DIY Self Watering Ideas For The Garden Perfect When You Are Going On A Holiday

If you happen to be a dedicated gardener, then going on vacation sometimes is a real nightmare for you. You suffer psychologically before the actual event of leaving your apartment and going away from your loving plants.

You wrote down every single step of watering to your reliable neighbor, but you still have a bad dream the night before you take off. In the nightmare, all of your plants have died because your neighbor forgot to water them two days before you came back. You woke up all sweaty and realized you need another plan.

Something that can keep you calm and enjoy your holiday without thinking that your plants are dying at home. If we told you that you never have to worry about the reliability of your neighbor/friend would you believe us? Probably not, but we will try to convince you with our three favorite ideas on self-watering.

All of them are easy DIYs that can work well if you are off on holiday. Try to have a lot of fun and don’t worry whether you will come back to a plant funeral, because that is far from the truth.

Here are the three DIY self-watering ideas:

  1. Wine bottle watering

Finally, your love for red wine has been justified. You can still use some of your leftover bottles for something useful such as keeping your plants alive. For this experiment, you will need an empty red wine bottle or another glass bottle with a narrow neck.

These are the instructions: First, fill the bottle with water. Standing next to the planter, turn over the bottle and push it down with its neck right into the soil. Push it down right to the center of the planter. Check if the neck is at least a couple of inches underground. In this way, the water from the bottle will seep into the soil for several days and it will keep the soil evenly moisturized. That’s the final step and you are free to pack your bags!

  1. Plastic bottle

With this type of self-watering, you need a bottle again, but this time a plastic one. A soda bottle will work best for a larger container or planter, or if you happen to have a delicate plant in the ground that requires constant watering. You need a clean empty two-liter soda bottle.

After you’ve rinsed it off, cut the neck off and you will have the top opening free to fill with a hose. Another thing you can do is cut off the bottom and place the bottle upside down. Then, the cut-open bottom becomes the “neck”. Next, punch or cut small holes through the body of your bottle in a random way. After you’ve prepared your bottle, you need to prepare the soil as well.

Dig a big hole that will be good to bury the bottle in the ground. You can bury it in either the center of the planter or next to the root system that is in ground. After putting the bottle in the soil, pack soil up to the bottle’s open neck. Now it is time to fill the bottle with water starting from the top.

In this way, water will find its way seeping slowly through the holes in the bottle and into the soil. You won’t have to worry about evaporation either, because the bottle is buried, which will prevent any evaporation whatsoever. With this method of self-watering, you will promote a deep root system as well.

  1. Commercially bought technique

If you are in a terrible hurry or too lazy to try the above-mentioned techniques, there is still a great solution for you. You can always use a commercially bought “cheat”. There are many to pick from: the “as seen on TV” Aqua Globes, or the famous Nanny Sakes, etc.

The Nanny stakes will help you with having something where you can insert the bottle neck. Moreover, they will give the weaker plastic bottle great strength when you have to push it deep enough into the soil.

No matter if you’ve decided to do number one, two, or technique number three, you can freely take off on your next adventure without any worries! Your plants will be safe and no one will have to come to your house to water them.

You will preserve your garden or apartment’s privacy and keep away from any quarrels. Your plants will forever be grateful because they received the perfect amount of water even though you weren’t around for days.

Useful tip: Before packing your bags, make sure to do a test run on the technique to convince yourself it is really working. Only after you’ve done the test, you can freely go on your long-planned holiday. Otherwise, you risk a great disappointment when you get back home.


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cc macd
4 years ago

Just be sure to cover the opening of the plastic bottle, to avoid frogs or beneficial insects from getting trapped inside & dying!

4 years ago


I’m currently using the plastic bottle method, which is working really well, but have seen some mentions of the plastic becoming harmful due to degradation in the soil and son.

Is there any truth to this?