How to set up a self-watering system

Do it:

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Takes just:

30 minutes

At its best:

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Returning home to discover dead or wilting plants is not the ideal end to a holiday. With a little forethought you can ensure your plants are kept well-watered while you're away, without being overly reliant on obliging friends or neighbours.

Follow our simple guide to setting up a self-watering system, below.

You will need

A flat tray

A container of water

Capillary matting

Pots

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Set up a flat tray over a container of water and cover in capillary matting. Add a piece of matting, which will function as a wick, drawing up water from the reservoir below.

Fill the water reservoir right up to its brim and thoroughly wet the matting.

Put pots on the surface, pressing them down so the pot's draining holes are in contact with the matting. Ideally, ask a friend or neighbour to top up the reservoir from time to time.

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