neglected garden
Photo: Anna Stowe/Alamy
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Your Garden Dies

The best defense against wilted flowers and shrubs is a well-established garden. "Older plants have had time to get acclimated and should survive a week without watering," says Roger. But a newer garden is more vulnerable. If you're planting just before going on vacation, mix Terra-Sorb into the soil. The crystals are designed to slow-release moisture, so plant roots won't go totally dry.

Container plants need more coddling. Billie Lee suggests placing plants next to the bathtub and filling the bottom of the tub with water. Then put one end of some cotton rope in the water and the other end in the pot. "The rope works like a wick and keeps your plants from getting thirsty." Better yet, says Roger, put the rope's end in the toilet tank; it will refill itself when the water level drops too low.
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