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Three easy ways to keep pots watered

Mark Rayner shows three simple DIY projects to keep your potted treasures watered - a great idea if you want to cut down on watering time or you're planning a weekend away.

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Project one - Terracotta planter

You will need: Large terracotta pot, small terracotta pot, exterior construction glue, Resene Terracotta Sealer and paintbrush.

How does it work? By raising the drainage of the main pot with the smaller raised terracotta in the base means the bottom of the pot always retains a layer of water: allowing the capillary action of the potting mix to bring this moisture up to the plant's roots.

Step 1 how to keep your plant pots watered

Step 1
Apply a generous amount of construction glue around the rim of the small terracotta pot, as shown.

Step 2 how to keep your plant pots watered

Step 2
Place the small terracotta pot upside down in the base of the larger terracotta pot, as shown, and allow glue to dry.

Step 3 how to keep your plant pots watered

Step 3
Seal the larger pot, inside and out with terracotta sealer (we used Resene Terracotta Sealer) and allow to dry.

Project two - Plastic bottle irrigator

You will need: Large plastic drink bottle, Drill with l0mm drill bit, Large plastic plant pot 'saucer', Hanging basket line and scissors.

How does it work? Place unsealed terracotta pots on the wet hanging basket liner and capillary action will ensure the base of the pots remain moist, drawing water up to plant roots. Also if you're planning a short holiday, partly bury unsealed terracotta pots directly in the ground to help prevent potting mix from drying out - choose a sheltered spot out of sun and wind. Water the pots and surrounding ground well and this should keep plants happy while you're away.

Step 2 how to keep pots watered

Step 1
Carefully drill a 10mm hole in the base of the water bottle.

Step 3 how to keep pots watered

Step 2
Cut the hanging basket liner to fit in the base of the plant 'saucer'. as shown. Fill the bottle with clean water (putting your finger over the hole in the base) and stand on the hanging basket liner.

Step 1 how to keep pots watered

Plants watered
This wet hanging basket liner.

Project three - drip feeder

You will need: Plastic water carrier with tap (ours came from Mitre 10 Mega), plastic tubing to fit tap, scissors, plastic plant pot with plant pot 'saucer'.

How does it work? The water slowly dribbles through the pottin mix in the container and pools in the pot 'saucer' beneath ensuring that the base of hte pot is kept moist.

Step 1 how to water pots

Step 1
Unscrew the cap of the plastic water carrier and fit the piece of plastic tubing over the tap, as shown.

Step 2 how to water pots

Step 2
Fill the water carrier with clean water and replace the cap, as shown.

Step 3 how to water pots

Step 3
Raise the water carrier up above the level of the pot you want watered ­ we placed it on the edge of a raised bed.

Step 4 how to water pots

Step 4
Place the pot in position on the its saucer, cut the plastic tubing to the approximate level of the potting mix, as shown.

Step 5 how to water pots

Step 5
Carefully turn the plastic tap on until a small amount of water dribbles through onto the potting mix.

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