How to Setup an Automatic Bonsai Watering System for Vacations

We all take vacations or have to go away for a few days, who is going to water our bonsai?  I mean the whole family is away, there is nobody home!  Some people hire a house sitter, a friend or a neighboring kid to water their bonsai; the outcome can be great or disastrous depending on how reliable is the help.

My wife and I often take vacations from a few days to as long as 5 weeks, we need a reliable watering system for our bonsai.  I experimented with several automatic sprinkler systems for the last 20 years or so, and found the one we have been using for about 10 years works well for us.  When we set up this sprinkler system, our objective is to allow us to go away, the bonsai are watered and are alive when we come back.  Not necessarily they receive the best of cares.  For that, you need to stay home or board them in a professional nursery.  I want to share how we do it, hopefully, readers will also share their experience and watering system benefitting others too.

P1060851 copy

We recently went on a 10-day trip to Utah and spent two days at the Monument Valley.  Route 163, mile post 13 is where Forrest Gump suddenly stopped his cross-country run.  Now a tourist spot.

Our system is quite simple, it relies on duplications and backups. We use two hose-end water timers to deliver water to one set of sprinklers. The logic is chances for two watering timers to fail during the period we are away are quite low, and that turned out to be true so far. Continue reading