Life in the Garden Part 35: Plant Nanny

It's November and the deck is pretty bare now.  I have a few plants out there trying to last through the winter and we'll see how they do. This gives me a good opportunity to look at garden equipment from this year.

Regulating water is a perenial challenge so this year I added Plant Nannies.


A Plant Nanny  is a piece or terracotta that you put in the pot.  The included auger helps you did deep enough so that the top of the Plant Nanny is at or just above the soil level.

Then you fill a wine bottle with water and turn it upside down in the Plant Nanny.  Jim Beam bottles work too.  The water doesn't pour out.  Instead, it seeps slowly into the soil through the Plant Nanny.  A wine bottle of water can last days or weeks depending on the weather, soil, plant and other watering habbits. 

If you get them in the pot early enough, roots will often grow around the Plant Nanny as the seek the water source.

There is another type of Plant Nanny, too.  If you want to use soda bottles, or other threaded or short necked bottles,you can use these smaller Plant Nannies.


You fill a large or small soda bottle with water, screw on the adapter, and slide the assembly into the terracotta.  From there is work the same as the bigger one.

The smaller ones can hold more water than the bigger ones because you can use 2-Liter bottles with them. But they are more awkward.  They spill more than they others.  And they leak more.  Plus they get a little wobbly. 

My plan for next year is to pick up more of the large wine-bottle plant nannies.  Instead of one per pot, I will will  do 2 or 3 per pot.  This should help keep the soil uniformly moist and accoodate my travel schedule well.  I'll also be adding the Plant Nannies at the same time I put pots in the plant.  This should make it easier to insert them and promote healthy root development.

I won't get any of the smaller, threaded ones.  They're just not worth the hassle when the other one are so easy.

I guess that means I have to drink more wine this winter.  Cheers!


Lynne said...

I haven't seen this type of water nanny before, I like this idea and it make good use of old soda bottles. Where did you find these?

Cromely said...

@Lynne: I picked them up at Molbaks, which is in Woodinville, WA, just a short drive from Seattle. I love that place. I can just wander amongst the plants for hours.

I think Amazon sells plant nannies, too.