Vacation Watering

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mross

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What do you all do for watering when you are away for extended times? I am planning a once in a life time family vacation that will last about 4 weeks. But I water every week and anything beyond that concerns me.
 

richgarrison

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automated misters hooked up to a programmable timer on a hose,
neighbor/ orchid friends (some paid, some paid in trade),
son
 

Happypaphy7

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I usually go away for 2-3 weeks at a time.
I water everything well about three days before the trip, allow the pots dry a bit for one day, and 1/2 days before the trip I put all the plants inside plastic bags of different sizes.
Some are individually bagged up and others are grouped inside large clear plastic trash bags.
For example, ones that had a history of rot or ones currently exhibiting fungal spots and such, or ones that are suspected of having any pests, or those extra tender ones will be bagged up individually.
Others that I really value for whatever reasons will also be bagged up on their own.
The rest are bagged up in small groups together.
So my livingroom before my trip and right after my return looks like a place with alien hatchery. lol
I make sure the plants are not in the way of direct sunlight (indoor grower here) and leave the AC set at low 70s if I'm travelling during the summer. Usually spring and fall, so I don't normally have to leave the AC on while I'm gone.
I have done this a few times and I can now travel without worrying about my plants getting desiccated.
Enjoy your family trip!
 

chris20

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Do you close the top of the bags—sealing the plants in—or do you leave the tops open?
 

Happypaphy7

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When you have just a few plants, that could be an option. Not when there are hundreds. Anything can happen. Dropping, knocking over, breaking etc and improper watering.
Plus, if you have valuables in the house, it probably is not the best idea to let someone in.
 

southernbelle

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What do you all do for watering when you are away for extended times? I am planning a once in a life time family vacation that will last about 4 weeks. But I water every week and anything beyond that concerns me.
I use an app called Errands. All my orchids are listed in it by a table # and colored tag, i.e. (# 4 RED). So when I go away, I have a neighbor come for about an hour each day to water plants due that day. I either put what’s due each day in a spread sheet for the whole trip or in a word doc by day. She pulls them by table #, so she knows where to put them back and uses tap water. I paid her at first, now she enjoys it and does it for free. I give her an orchid gift every now and then.
I also use the app to tell me what to order each day. It’s great because if something due doesn’t need watering today, and I water tomorrow, the repeat registers from the day of completion, not the due date.
I’ve not looked into it but you could probably share the app with what’s due each day, I don’t know.
 

richgarrison

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the other thing i didn't say....

expect losses.... just part of the deal...

it's possible things would have happened if you were there anyway... so with someone else watering, and also being gone and not watching stuff for those days...

sh&t happens. :)
 

skirincich

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I contacted a fellow orchid society member who lives nearby. We help each other.
 

Bob in Albany N.Y.

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If you don't have too many plants you can put them in those clear storage containers. The hardest part of that is to find the ones with the clear tops. Just water them the day or two before you leave and put the lid on. Maybe you don't even need to have the clear lids but it made me feel better when I had a much smaller collection. Just don't put them where they will be in direct sun. They will stay well in there for a number of weeks.
 

mross

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Thanks for all the suggestions. Right now I am considering hooking up my RO system to a timer with a tube going to each orchid. It will be in a sink away from sunlight so a grow light may be in order. Work in progress.
 

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