Hi this is Carl the Landscape Guy and today
i will be working with this balcony plant. It is a Chinese windmill palm planted in a
pot of about 18 inch in diameter. Especially in the summer it can easily happen that the
soil dries out quickly caused by the sun and wind and the increased water demand of the
plant. It can happen pretty fast that plants like this die when people go on vacation or
forget to water it. Therefore, I want to install and test an automatic watering system today.
Also I don’t like how birds tend to burrow through the soil and throw dirt all over the
balcony. I will show you an easy way to stop that. In addition I will install a subtle
lighting that brings some pleasant atmosphere. All installs don’t require any local water
or power plugs. This is not meant to be advertisement and I bought all products myself, I just want
to give you a couple ideas that might help you to improve your plants.
First, I will now install an automatic irrigation system. For this I use 4 pieces of this watering
cones made of clay named Blumat XL. For this pot size I use four of them. With this system,
the potting soil is supposed to absorb the water by capillary through the fine holes
of the clay cone. Through a small hose the cone sucks more water out of a nearby water
reservoir ensuring a continuous humidification of the soil. For a water reservoir I use this
eight gallon canister which I place behind the pot. It is important that the canister
is at approximately the same height as the pot. For this I m putting the canister on
a stable box. I think I have found a good and safe place for the canister and will now
fill it with tap water. This is a used canister that’s why I rinse it out a couple times to
make sure there are no harmful remains in it. Now the clay cone must be completely filled
with water. For this I take the cap off and dip the cone and the tube in a bowl of water
until everything is completely filled. The system works the best if you close the cone
under water to have no air in it. This procedure I perform in all four irrigation cones. With
a spike I lose the Palm Earth a little at the intended location and insert the first
cone. I am hanging the hose into the canister. Now it’s important that the loose soil is
soaked around and onto the cone so that the clay surface sort of connects to the ground.
The other three cones are now put in the same manner evenly throughout the pan. I pay attention
that the cones sit in deep enough and are watered well. I connect the four hose ends
to a small metal ring to have them lay at the bottom of the canister and not draw any
air. This completes the installation of the irrigation system for now.
As announced, I would now like to install a discreet lighting. For that I use a solar
light chain with 12 warm white LEDs. During the day a small battery is charged by solar
power which then automatically supplies the LEDs at dusk. I position the mini solar panel
in the main direction of the sun and spread the LEDs uniformly around the palm. Now I
spread one to two inch natural gravel which combines multiple functions. It covers the
wires, hoses and cone caps. It also holds the LEDs in place and provides a visual enhancement.
For this you can use all kinds of grits or gravels. Using the stones I position the LEDs
facing towards the palm that way it’s going to be illuminated indirectly later. The stone
layer additionally ensures that the soil is protected against drying out by the sun and
wind and the birds can’t dig in the pot. Now the solar battery is being charged by the
sun while the palm is being watered invisibly. I put a mark on the canister and observed
the water level a few days. I can confirm the function of this irrigation system. A
full container lasts about one month for this plant. Through the small opening only little
water can evaporate and the canisters can be refilled at any time easily.
At night the LEDs provide a pleasant soft lighting. The lamp radiate both the Palm from
below, as well as gravel which creates a pleasant mediterranean atmosphere.
Overall, I hope my video could provide good practical, and creative ideas. On my channel
there are many landscaping videos and I appreciate every like, every comment and every subscriber.
Thanks for watching and until next time, I’m Carl the landscape guy.