My garden can't catch a break. Two years running now. Cold and soggy last year, and hot and dry now. I know we're all in the same boat concerning the weather, but my garden is supposed to thrive on neglect because, pretty much, that's all it gets. Needless to say, it's not looking good. Again.
If you're busy spinning your wheels like I am, and find yourself too tired to go out and water after work, you should check out some of my latest discoveries.
This "sustainable hydrating system" really works. When the AcquaLok folks sent me a huge, lush Boston fern with promotional literature claiming it would require watering only once every 28 days, I was skeptical. I watered it thoroughly -- it held about a gallon of water -- and placed it up by the sunniest window in the house. I noted the date on my calendar and ignored it for 28 days. When I checked on it, iIt was still lush and thriving, with no signs of stress. I put it in the tub, gave it another good drenching, and it didn't need any more attention for another 28 days. The pot is lined with high-tech foam that encompasses thousands of tiny air pockets that hold onto water and oxygen, and release them gradually as needed. The system holds the same amount of air and water in a two-inch space as would be present in 2 feet of garden soil. Find it at Home Depot and Lowe's for about $13.
Invented in Germany after 7 years of research and development, Geohumus is a soil additive derived from finely ground lavastone and organic polymers. The spongelike granules absorbs and gradually release water into soil, while adding minerals from the volcanic rock. It also reduces leaching, so you won't need to use as much fertilizer. Using Geohumus on houseplants, in planters outdoors and even in vegetable and flower gardens can cut watering needs by about a third. A one-pound container retails for $9.95 at Amazon.com.