Watering outdoor plants and the lawn

For those of you offsite, do you ask guests to water any outdoor plants?

Sometimes my guests stay a week and the pretty plants need watering. There are only two box plants right out on the deck, but there are other flowers in the yard. Do you offer to stop by and water them if they are not receptive to the containers to water the deck plants themselves?

I am not about to give up a pretty yard with flowers because of some prickly guests. So what about watering the yard when it hasn’t rained? Do you have someone stop by daily and water if your guests are staying in for a week?

Are you set up with automatic sprinkler systems and tell the guests when they turn on? Obviously I don’t want grass to go brown and have dead plants.


Just to add: While it’s nice that all these things can just be done on turnover day - of course it is not always the case that all plants can magically be watered, lawn watered, and lawn mowed all on the same day

I’d go with an automated sprinkler system you can’t expect guests to do this. Even if they agree they might forget.

Yes, I agree…I have found out even guests with the best intentions cannot be counted on for important things (not even something simple like watering).

So how do you handle plants that aren’t hit by an outdoor sprinkler? And do you have a timer to let guests know when everything will turn on? Sometimes my families stay home the entire day (max 6) just to stay at home and play in the yard, etc…the yard is a huge draw for families.

In my own home, i don’t have a garden but a rooftop terrace with containers and a watering system with drippers in each container works great.

That’s what they have in professional nurseries. I stayed at an Airbnb in Milan that has the same setup and there was a phrase in the house manual saying that the watering system goes on each night at XX.

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Is the system set up to know if the plant has already had enough water? For example - it is not really hot and the plant only needs a little water - or if the plant should skip a day?

I am sorry for sounding clueless about plants…but I really am. I would love an automatic watering for deck plants - I am positive my partner could create something like this.


You could add a moisture sensor to your system; in theory in would water the plants only as needed. But I have read they are not very reliable.
The systems are very easy to install, scissors are the only tool needed (to cut the plastic tubes), you just have to carefully plan your system :slight_smile:

The use with drippers is to water a little each day (or twice a day). Playing with the dripper type, number of drippers, and timer, you can choose to give say 1 liter of water to a container, 5 liters in another, etc, and if you use a good potting mix and have “average” plants, it’s very forgiving of overwatering, and a little forgiving of underwatering. I have all kinds of plants with very different watering needs (from lavender to English roses) and I never had a drown or dried plant.

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I installed my system several years ago but I guess they now do programmers connected to your Wi-Fi, allowing you to water your plants from your smartphone.

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As a guest I would be put off if asked to water flowers, plants, or the lawn. I’m not house-sitting. Guests do not want to bothered with your household chores. They left those behind at their place.

I wouldn’t ask if its OK to stop by and attend to these matters, I would tell them it’s happening at such and such day and time.

Colorado - therein lies the problem.

The type of guest who would not be bothered to water a couple of plants on the deck every day, is usually the type of guest who throws a fit because the owner said he would be stopping by to water the plants on the deck every day. Now the owner is invading their privacy.

It sounds like there’s no way around it unless everything is automatic and sprinkler systems can be set.

I don’t think any reasonable person would call that invading their privacy. Not when they know about it ahead of time and it is just a super quick visit to take care of something that really can’t wait. Now if you did it at 2AM or unannounced, maybe…

Exactly - the key word here being reasonable. Thankfully the majority of my guests are reasonable. But once in a while there is a paranoid group who cannot understand that the lawn, waterfall, and flowers all must be taken care of.

Also, keep in mind that my rental is secluded with a gate, and private drive - so the “unreasonable” guests tend to view this as an invasion of their privacy - where if you placed these same guests in a neighborhood in the city, they likely wouldn’t think a thing of someone stopping by often to take care of these things. The same actions wouldn’t bother them in a different setting. If that makes sense?

It’s so laughable. Do they think the green is painted on? That they are rented a Hollywood movie set that just stays magically manicured? :smiley:

I think I would maybe put sprinklers on the lawn with timers. I would also be really clear that xx will be coming at xx time on xx day to maintain the garden, including watering plants on the deck. Sorry for the intrusion but the flowers can’t go for more than a couple of days without water. We know you’ll understand. :tulip:

My studio has a private patio that gets a little messy if there are guests in for several days. When they leave I sometimes go down and sweep. I also have a yard that’s got to be weedwhacked a lot, especially during the summer. It’s rocky and sloped and not really a place a guest would want to spend time in. If it goes too long, the tropical weeds from hell take over. :smile: If I know they will be gone all day, and the yard is in need I do a quick weedwhack while they are gone.

I think that is what some think. But until everything can turn automatic - if another prickly guest seems to display signs of irritation/annoyance - then I will suggest to them that I can completely turn the waterfall off so that none of that needs to be tended to :smile:

I can’t commit to a certain date and time as all of it (esp. waterfall) depends on the weather and rain. But guests do know that nobody is just going to show up in the early morning unannounced. No one is ever going to go there until late morning at the earlierst. But I bet if their choice was to have no waterfall, then all of a sudden they would change their tune.

Now if someone will research all my possible options with wifi sprinklers…and just tell me what to order - I will be very happy :smile:

Is anyone aware of a system a wifi watering system that also handles things inside the home?

For example - I also want to purchase a system that will shut off the A/C or heat if the windows are open. I was just wondering if there is something that possibly incorporates all of this stuff into one program. Or maybe I am just dreaming??