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Self watering ideas for leaving tomato plants whilst on holiday?

TUVOK Posts: 458 Forumite
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Hoping to find out from members if they have actually used a self watering 'idea' whilst on holiday?

We will be away for 5 days in June and a week in July, we do not have any one to water for us so it's either not grow tomato's this year or find a self watering process which actually works!
I'm hoping to grow 2 or 3 plants of 'Tumbler', which in a experiment of 5 different varieties last year out fruited them all by a large margin, easy to grow, needs little maintenance apart from picking the fruit!
I put the results on a post at the end of the tomato season in case any one is interested in the results?

It's a problem in that we all know you go away even for 5 days and the temps soar and the plants are finished!

If any one has a method/kit that they have actually successfully used? please reply and let me know, we both love tomato's and would miss the crop a lot.


  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,722 Forumite
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    What do you grow them in?
    If pots i used to use a thick felt matting that held water but I haven't seen it for years.
    What about mixing in some water retentive chrystals?
    Or in true MSE what people used to do was put them in the bath with some water in. Cool too. A large tray in the shower? Bowl in the sink.
    But definitely shade them. Any fleece will do and some canes to support it away from the plants.

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  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,753 Forumite
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    I grow my tomatoes in large pots in the greenhouse and each pot is placed in a large plastic box, like the boxes you put under beds. I put them in this when I first pot them as it is easier to handle a small tomato plant.  When we go away for a few days I fill the boxes with water, never had any problems doing this.
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,364 Forumite
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    I grew my tomatoes in growbags and used a self watering kit connected to my outside tap.
  • CapricornLass
    Its worth investing in one of the autopot systems if you regularly grow these crops .  I use them every year to grow cucumbers and tomatoes, and sometimes peppers and chillis too in my green house.  My results have been much better since I went across to using it as watering is even, and I've used it now for more than 1o years.

    Obviously it depends how many pots you have attached to the water tank, which holds 47 ltrs, and how hot it is in the first place.  However, I find 4 pots will easily do a fortnight, and as twopenny says, shade them.
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  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,716 Forumite
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    Typically I just grow one tomato plant, in a pot.

    If I go on holiday I do this...

    My shower head drips if it isn't fully tuned off, so i let it drip on to an old tea towel and stand the pot on that.

    The plant seems to love it
    TUVOK Posts: 458 Forumite
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    Thanks for all replies, god informative replies on a great forum.

    I'll be looking at the auto pot 'self watering 'system' for a start to solving my 'holiday' problem.
  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 13,348 Forumite
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    TUVOK said:
    Thanks for all replies, god informative replies on a great forum.

    I'll be looking at the auto pot 'self watering 'system' for a start to solving my 'holiday' problem.
    Although I do not have one, I guess such a system could also have dilute fertiliser in there for regular feeding

    Eight out of ten owners who expressed a preference said their cats preferred other peoples gardens
  • -taff
    -taff Posts: 14,601 Forumite
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    I grow mine in large trays filled with gravel, large stuff, then I water by filling up the tray. The roots will grow into the gravel to find water so as long as it's not too sunny, the water will last a few days. Obviously, the deeper the tray, the more water it will hold. Same as comeandgo above, but I get three pots to a tray.
    Shampoo? No thanks, I'll have real poo...
    TUVOK Posts: 458 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Problem is that we will be away for a week, not sure that unless a very deep tray, that it would work for me.
    Thanks for the idea though.
  • Crag30
    Crag30 Posts: 278 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Not exactly Money Saving but does the job


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