I’m finding myself struggling a bit with writing this blog. Typing words into a little box and posting them online makes me feel a little foolish and that I’m somehow deceiving people. Making them think that I know what I’m doing and that my opinion should be valued in some way. Let me just say that I am in no way an expert on anything. Anything! I love to read. And I do, on many different topics. My book collection contains classic literature, crime fiction, and fantasy fiction, but also books on behavioural analysis, Japanese mythology, tea making, fairytales, costume, architecture, and many other subjects. In no way does this make me an expert on any of these topics; only interested.
So, hopefully I have given you realistic expectations on my current level of expertise in the field of gardening. Recently my collection of books in relation to gardening and farming has increased, but I’m definitely still a beginner. Especially when it comes to knowing exactly what my plants want. With the arrival of my first niece I’ve come to the conclusion that plants are a lot like babies. Babies cry and cry but can’t actually tell you what’s wrong. My plants will go sad and limp, or their leaves will yellow, but they can’t actually say “you’re not watering me enough” or “this spot is too hot and sunny”.
The answer to my ‘not knowing how much the water’ problems have been solved by Moisture Matic. It is an automatic drip feed watering system that sits on the side of your pot and the plants can just drink as much or as little water as they need. I first got my Moisture Matic’s to solve the problem of watering my plants while I’m away. I’m a particularly private person and the thought of giving a key to a neighbour to come in to my apartment makes me very uncomfortable. So, when I went away for a few weeks I thought I’d be really clever and rig up a watering system for my plants out of a tub and multiple strands of string feeding into each pot. I’d seen it recommended and outlined on a few message boards and blogs, but needless to say it was unsuccessful. I managed to salvage my heartier plants like rosemary, and mint, but I lost three to mother earth.
The next time I went away was for work. This is not uncommon and is the reason I can’t have a pet. It would be three weeks and there was no way I was risking my babies, especially as I had just added four new tomato plants to my crop. So I took them to my very accommodating brother and sister-in-law who took very good care of them (probably thinking I was a little crazy to care about my plants this much). While I was away I did some more research and found Moisture Matic. It seemed to be exactly what I was trying to do with my makeshift string waterer, but much more scientific. Well it seemed to work anyway, and I’m a sucker for a good demonstration video. I bought one for each pot and spent the next few days constantly checking and filling them until my plants got all the water they needed and adapted to their new watering system. They have been a great success! I went away over the festive season and came back to my herbs just as healthy as when I had left them. The pots with the smaller Moisture Matic’s on them had used up all the water and there was no way of know exactly when they had dried up. The plants looked a little limp but I just topped up the tubs and over night they sprang back to life.
I thought I would just use this new system when I went away, as I expected the tubs hanging off my pot plants to be an eyesore, but I’ve left them on. I top them up every few days (the smaller ones more frequently, especially when it’s hot) and I get this weirdly comforting feeling when I look out and see my herbs getting looked after by this system. Kind of like a super reliable baby sitter. I know my plants are getting just as much water as they need and I don’t have to worry about my own incompetence killing them.