keeping hay bales from drying out while away

Any advice on how to keep plants in hay bales happy while out of town for a long weekend? Don't want plants stressed due to drying out.


Comments for keeping hay bales from drying out while away

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Apr 25, 2011
Keeping Hay Bales Moist
by: George

I do not use hay bales but I do use large Coke/Lemonade etc bottles fited with "Feed Spikes" from Bunings which when poked into the soil allow a slow drip feed of fluid to the plant roots. I have found this to adequate for up to two weeks depending on the weather. I also use this method for root feeding my "hungry" plants, eg brassicas and pumpkins.

Apr 28, 2011
Watering plants when away
by: Megan

I haven't tried those 'Feed Spikes," I sent away for a pack of 6 once from one of those mail order catalogues, but nothing arrived and I must've given up chasing them. Now I know where to get them, thanks George, (Bunnings in NZ is a hardware/home/garden store).

I've experimented successfully with a water-filled, long necked wine bottle with its cap off and jammed upright at a slight angle into the soil. The water dripped out over 5-6 days. The secret is to have enough soil clogging up the neck to act as a slow dispenser - I had about 3 cm.

Also successful is to take a large drink bottle which has a cap with a removable inner lining. Poke a pin sized hole in the plastic cap (use needle held over flame with plyers, or other idea) and poke another pinhole in inner lining at a different place than the pinhole in cap. Put lining back in cap, fill bottle with water, and screw cap back on bottle and poke into soil near plants. This again will seep out over about a week.

You can also put old soaked towels, strips of wool blanket or sacking around plants. Weigh down some old plastic or plastic bags over the wet material too.

Ideally, one likes to have a friendly neighbour to come over and look after plants. Or another option is to have soaker hoses set in place. But if these arrangements are not convenient or possible, you should be fine with cold water bottles.

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