Watering on Vacation

Discussion in 'New to Bonsai' started by Fender0327, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Fender0327

    Fender0327 Seedling

    Messages:
    16
    Hi,

    I recently bought a small Juniper. I am going on vacation in July. I am not really friendly with my neighbors, as I'm new to the block. Can anyone suggest methods for watering my bonsai? I don't want it to die. I will be gone for a week.
     
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  3. bonhe

    bonhe Chumono

    Messages:
    841
    Location:
    Riverside, CA
    Hi Fender0327, I don't know how small your juniper is. If it is too small, you can place it under the misty system. Otherwise, the drip system is ok for it. I have more than 100 small and giant bonsai and prebonsai. Every time I'm going to vacation, I put them under care of drip system and misty system 3 times a day, 10 minutes in the morning and at 5pm and 3 minutes at noon where the trees receive full sun all day long! and twice a day where the trees only receive morning sun. It worked fine for me who is living in the Inland Empire (really hot and dry in the summer). Good luck.
    Bonhe
     
  4. Redwood Ryan

    Redwood Ryan Masterpiece

    Messages:
    3,088
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Placing it in the shade will also help slow the drying out of the soil from the hot sun. That is, if you have it outdoors, which you do have it outdoors, right?
     
  5. jkl

    jkl Masterpiece

    Messages:
    3,177
    Location:
    Western NC
    Find a larger pot, maybe 3-4 times as large as your tree and pot, hopefully with just one small drainage hole (but it DOES need a drainage hole!). Fill it with sandbox sand. The night before you leave, saturate -- and I mean saturate -- the sand with water. Then, dig a hole deeper than the bonsai pot and bury your tree in the WET sand. Set both in the shade somewhere. Your tree should be fine for a week.
     
  6. edprocoat

    edprocoat Masterpiece

    Messages:
    3,379
    Location:
    Ohio/Florida
    Watering while on vacation? I usually just find a spot with some trees near the road and run back in there to water ..... :)


    Just one Bonsai is not enough to install a sprinkler system, I would look around and see who nearby might be into plants, you know a garden, nice flowers around the house etc. and introduce myself and ask would you watch my plant for a week, please.

    ed
     
  7. coppice

    coppice Mame

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    SE-OH USA
    1., bring it with you.

    2., call on local green house and ask if they'll plant-sit

    3., Over pot it with wet medium.

    4., sprinkler with timer

    All of these are fraught with problems. Personally I like # 1 & 4, and have used both.
     
  8. GrimLore

    GrimLore Masterpiece

    Messages:
    3,672
    Location:
    South East PA USDA Zone 6b
    What he said - no need to worry it for a week :cool:
     
  9. duderubble

    duderubble Seedling

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Southwest Missouri
    I have my window boxes on a timer and love it. Never worry all summer. You can probably get an electronic timer and a drip on it for about $30.
     
  10. Fender0327

    Fender0327 Seedling

    Messages:
    16
    Thanks

    Thanks everyone. My juniper is small. Pot is about 8" wide and the it's about 2 years old. I was also wondering if those watering spikes work. Anyone?
     
  11. Gaitano

    Gaitano Yamadori

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    St. Louis Missouri
    I just went on a week vacation and tried something with about 20 trees. I watered them well the night before I left, soaked newspaper, covered the top of the pot with the wet newspaper and put wet newspaper on the bottom of a plastic bag. I put the plant in the bag and cinched it up over the top of the newspaper. I put them all in a shady location that gets a few hours of early morning sun. I also cut a few holes in the bottom just in case of rainstorms. I didn't want the water to collect in the bag.

    It seems to have worked well enough. The St. Louis weather consisted of a few rainy days and 85 degree days so relatively mild. This may have helped the matter. I did this with conifers, deciduous, some with all inorganic (my main worries) some with a mix of inorganic and organic.

    If I were to have one in late July or August I may not have attempted this, especially after last years drought.

    Just another idea to consider. Not sure if anybody else has tried this.
     
  12. Eric Group

    Eric Group Omono

    Messages:
    1,737
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Or, you could just have a friend stop bye a couple times and water it... Not a bad idea to have someone come collect your mail/ papers anyway so it isn't super obvious you are out of town if a thief is checking out your house...

    Other than that, all the ides offered would be fine. Sounds to me like your tree would probably benefit from a couple years in the ground, but that is a different discussion all together.
     
  13. Fender0327

    Fender0327 Seedling

    Messages:
    16
    Did you seal the plastic bag? I would think you would to help retain moisture.
     
  14. Gaitano

    Gaitano Yamadori

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    St. Louis Missouri
    I tied it, cinching it up near the base of the trunk. It did help retain moisture, even had some roots popping out of the pond baskets. I guess I should have specified earlier, I used plastic grocery bags.
     
  15. JudyB

    JudyB Imperial Masterpiece

    Messages:
    5,106
    Location:
    Amanda Ohio
    I do this with the newspaper when I have inside trees to keep wet in the winter. Works great, I use alum. foil to wrap the package, not plastic bags. And I stick some pans filled with water, and /or humidifers on timers between the trees. Lasts for 2 weeks easy. In the summer/fall, I have automatic watering timers on the trees.
     

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