When re-using containers that have already carried previous crops, scrub them with a vegetabole brush dipped in clean, soapy water, then rinse them out in boilihg water. This prevents any disease organisms from being transmitted from one crop to the next
You can also check to see if your container vegetables need watering with an electric moisture tester. These testers operate on the principle that wet soil conducts electricity better than dry. There are many models on the market, some equipped with a light meter.
There are many gadgets and systems to help water your containers. Perhaps the simplest is a plastic jug and watering wand combination. There are pots that water automatically from a built-in reservoir. In addition, there are plant pillows', which hold water like a sponge; when the soil becomes dry, water is drawn into the soil through a hole in the pot.
To keep hanging plants from dripping onto the carpet when watered, you can purchase an easily removed drip pan. This will fit containers of any size.
Drip irrigation water systems also make watering a number of containers fairly easy. Spaghetti tubes with drip spitters attach directly to the pots. To make watering 'work-free', the system can be attached directly to an automatic timer.
The best way to set up containers for vacation or any other long period when you'll be away is with a drip system connected to a timer. Other methods: place a few containers in a flat foil pan partially filled with water, or place containers in a bathtub or sink in two to three inches of water.
For hanging containers, place a pail of water underneath the container and run a piece of soft cotton rope between the water and pot. Water will work its way up the wick' into the pot. You can also give each container a good soaking, slip it into a plastic bag, and seal the bottom with a tape. This forms a closed system in which the moisture given off by the plant leaves will return to the soil.
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