Grow Q&A: Can I Take a Vacation From My Pot Plants?

Dear Dan, I've followed you for sometime now and I almost always find your advice helpful. I'm in a tight spot. I'm going on vacation to visit my sister; I haven't seen her in a year. I'm not sure how to keep my plants watered for the two weeks that I'll be gone. I'm looking into drip irrigation setups right now, but I don't know much about them or any other automated watering systems. Someone recommended that I put the plants in a tub of shallow water and let the soil wick up the water. While this makes sense I know it's probably not a good idea to have the babies in standing water. Could I do this method with a bubble stone to keep the water oxygenated while I'm gone? – Kleep Nepstein

Dear Kleep,    
I certainly would never advise that anyone leave their grow for two weeks. The amount of things that could go wrong is staggering. Watering is only the first of your concerns. Pest infestations, electrical malfunctions, etc. the list goes on and on. If you can, please postpone your trip until after you’ve finished with your harvest and even the drying curing process.

If you cannot postpone your trip, perhaps you have a very trusted friend that can monitor your plants and keep everything running smoothly. Automated watering would help, but for that you will need a reservoir, pump, timer, tubing and a lot of luck. Drip irrigation can clog and timers can malfunction, and with nobody there to keep an eye on things, you will lose all that you’ve worked for.

You don’t want to leave your plants in standing water. Over the course of two weeks, your roots will eventually drown or use up all of the water and dry out. Even with the water oxygenated, the likelihood of disaster is far too great to leave your grow for so long. Good luck! You will certainly need it.

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