Going away for a few days on holidays doesn’t have to mean the death of your balcony or patio garden.

With a self-watering system, you can easily and cheaply keep your small garden abundant and thriving.

In this guide, we’ll show you the very best auto watering systems, including models embedded in pots, systems to attach to your hose, and other, more imaginative solutions.


Self-watering systems for pots


If you have an existing container garden set up on your balcony, windowsill, or garden, you can implement an auto-watering system to keep it going whilst your away or too busy to manually water it.

These are usually little devices in the shape of a cone, which slowly drip water into the pot, keeping the soil wet. This cone is made of clay or terracota, which “sweats” into the soil. Through a pressure system created by vaccum, as the water in the stake drips into the soil, new water is pulled through a tube from the connected water deposit, which can be any bucket or container you have lying around.

This is a great solution for small pots or short duration but can be limiting if you are looking to automate your watering long-term, as the water deposit might run out of water.

For this type of solution, our favourite models are the hestya watering stakes, and the terracota stakes shown below.

Self-watering garden hose kits


Another way to implement an auto-watering system is to connect a controller to the garden hose. This will allow you more control over the watering schedule and amount of water given.

This solution consists of two components: A timer that will connect to the nuzzle of the hose, and a hose with drip holes to connect to your pots.

The drip holes must then be in proximity of the plant so that the roots are within the humid area that it creates.

In our experience, some of the best options are the following:

Diy Self-watering systems

You can also build your own system.

The easiest way to do this is by connecting a piece of thick string to a water deposit. This string then needs to be buried in the pot. This method will provide limited moisture but work wells for small plants.

If you have a bigger pot, creating or buying a pot with a water deposit is probably a better option.

To do, take your existing pot, get a bigger pot that does not have any holes and with a similar diameter, and stack them. Fill the bottom pot with a few inches of water and, if possible, insert a tube that goes through the smaller pot to the larger pot. This will allow you to fill up the water deposit as needed.

The bottom of your smaller pot should now be in contact with the water deposit, keeping the roots moist for an extended period of time.


Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to automate your gardening tasks, there is a host of possibilities.

We believe that garden hose timers are the most efficient and user-friendly way of automating irrigation, which will allow you to leave your urban garden unattended for a few days or even weeks.

You can even implement a system of garden hose, using a divider with different timers, allowing for different watering frequencies for different plants.