This, “this old house” happens to be in Falls Church, Virginia. I thought this was an interesting comment in an article about a neat Victorian fixer-upper.
This season, consumers are starting to catch on to the benefits of self-watering container gardening, where reservoirs automatically detect when a plant needs a hit of H2O. Revamping the old pod-insert design to something more marketable to the masses, the sub-irrigating technique is starting to take hold as one the latest trends in gardening.
"They're making them in much prettier colors and now there's more of a draw because people don't need someone to come over and water their plants three times a day," said Cram.
The term sub-irrigating was used but once again, the term self-watering causes misunderstanding about capillary action watering. Note the words “automatically detect”. That would be neat but it's not true. There's no built-in intelligence. The "self" is you.
In the absence of guidance by our horticultural educators, this is where we are. Progress is slow and it comes about mainly through the effort of individuals rather than horticultural or gardening organizations. Note the operative words…”consumers are starting to catch on”.
What consumers will catch on to is saving water while growing more abundant and healthy decorative and edible plants in containers. Water restrictions may be what ultimately gets our attention.
Whatever it takes will be to the good in getting us out of a national obsession with clay pot and saucer container gardening. Drench and drain watering may be convenient and seem intuitive but it's horticulturally the worst way to water container plants. It's tricky to learn and only leads to wasting water and plants.