I have been gardening for almost forty years. For the past twenty years I have worked on a large rural estate where my gardening responsibilities are varied and include everything from the herb garden to the vast array of hanging baskets and containers.
As the summers have become drier and the need to conserve water essential, I was struggling to keep the hanging baskets (upwards to thirty at a time) and containers (too many to count!) looking fresh and beautiful. Then I stumbled upon Rainmat three years ago and my summers have been almost carefree with the hanging baskets and containers.
I still have to water but only once a week. That means I can stagger the watering and all the plants look brilliant all summer long. This is a great relief and a real time saver.
I use a combination of Rainmat and Gel & Feed. Both products are made using environmentally friendly materials.
Rainmat is a superbly practical combination of biodegradable absorbant fibres and fast-acting Raingel granules. Part fill the container or hanging basket then place one Rainmat at root level, continue filling, plant up and water. The granules will rapidly absorb the water to form a reservoir into which the plant roots will grow, taking in water as they require. Rainmat lasts an entire season in hanging baskets and I've found they last two to three years in containers.
I also add a small amount of Gel & Feed to the hanging baskets and this provides a little extra water storage plus feeds the plants throughout the season.
I use Gel & Feed to established containers each year and that's all I need to do to guarantee a beautiful year round display.
Rainmat also make a Holiday mat which waters your indoor plants for up to 21 days. Made out of the same biodegradable absorbant fibres Holiday mat deals with the problem of how to ensure your indoor plants are still alive when you get back from your holiday. Just place the Holiday mat on your draining board, add 4 litres of water, set your plants on the mat and go off to enjoy your holiday. The mat is reusable and lasts years with careful use.
Rainmat boasts that it cuts your need to water by up to 90% and that is absolutely true in my experience.
Now I actually enjoy the multitude of baskets and containers because I don't have to spend hours watering. Gives me more time to weed the rest of the gardens!