This week is going to be an experiment: I'll be out of town for 8 days (going to Montreal on a romance vacation!), and it'll be the first time I will have been away from my garden for more than a day or two. In the past when I've been absent for less than 48 hours, I've had an assortment of friends and neighbors pop in to water the plants and take a few tomatoes for themselves in exchange. But this time, I've devised a plan: I call it The Self-Sufficient 8-Day Garden Machine!
Just like everything else on my farm, I totally just made this up myself and I have no idea if it will actually work...
- A timer attachment for my water faucet
- A rotating lawn sprinkler
- A normal hose
- A sprinkler hose
- Some pink duct tape (ok, this has nothing to do with this project, but I saw it and had to buy it!)
Since I don't have a car, I ended up taking a ride home from a stranger to avoid the cab fare (sorry, mom!), but don't worry, he turned out to be a very sweet guy. I told him about the The Self-Sufficient 8-Day Garden Machine plan I was working out with my recent purchases, and he seemed skeptical.
Here's the plan I explained to Van Man:
1. First, I moved all of my pots and containers into a central location. The bulk of the garden is mostly huddled together already, but I have some herbs and flowers in outlying pots that I brought into the group.
2. Next, I connected the timer attachment to my outdoor faucet.
This thing is a great invention: It is basically an attachment between the faucet and the garden hose. I can set a timer on it to open and close the water source from to the hose- what time the water should turn on, how long it should stay on, and how often it should turn on (every day? once a week? etc). The timer I bought even has TWO hose outputs, each with an individual timer, so I'm turning my single faucet into a timed dual watering machine!
3. I connected the hose I already had to the left ouput and stretched it as far as I could over to the garden area. I attached the lawn sprinkler to this hose, and strategically set up the sprinkler in the middle of my now-clustered pots.
4. With the second output, I connected the new hose I bought and also stretched that out to the cluster of pots. To the end of that hose, I attached the nifty sprinkler hose I had bought- it looks like a normal hose, but it has holes pooked in it so that water squirts out! I snaked the sprinkler hose around my plants, putting it directly onto the soil across all the pots of veggies that will need more water than herbs or flowers.
5. Finally, I set the timer: The sprinkler is set to go off for 15 minutes at 7:30 am every morning while I'm away. The sprinkler hose, which is wrapped up in the more thirsty plants, will turn on for 10 minutes at 2pm every day to give the plants an extra afternoon drink when it's hot out. As a backup, it's actually supposed to rain all week! But I don't want to rely on that, because everyone knows that the iPhone weather app is rarely on-point.
Here's what The Self-Sufficient 8-Day Garden Machine looks like all set up!
Here is a close-up of the sprinkler hose snaking through the potatoes, beets, turnips, tomatoes, corn, and peas:
Take that, Van Man! Let's hope this works. I should set up a webcam in my backyard so I can watch the watering process from my cell phone while I'm gone... Anyone know how to do that??