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Self watering container plans

 
Doug Pillow
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Saw this idea in a few different forms and came up with this version that is working very well.
Cost of materials is about $7.00 which included the $5.00 for the bucket with lid.

Parts needed:
5 gal bucket with lid,
7" of 4" PVC
17" of 1 1/2" PVC
3 drink cans.



Cut the lid away from the lip and then cut a 4" hole in the center and a 1 1/2" hole at the edge.
Drill many holes in the 4" pipe and cut an end of the 1 1/2" pipe at an angle.

Place the cans in the bottom of the bucket.


Place the cut lid on top of the cans, the 4" pip through the center hole and the 1 1/2" pipe through the edge hole with the angled cut side down.



Take your favorite potting soil/compost mix and start filling the lid. Pack the 4" PVC pipe as tight as you can. Water will wick up through here.

Measure 4" from the bottom of the bucket and drill a drain hole.


Now all you do is add your seeds or starting plant and pour water down the 1 1/2" pipe.
When the water comes out the drain hole, it is full.
Every few days add more water.
Water will wick up and keep the soil in the bucket perfectly watered.
This particular bucket is growing spinach from a .20 cent seed packet from Walmart.


 
Emily Aaston
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Location: montana
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Very cool! Thank you for sharing. I am doing all kinds of research right now to create a container garden and this is very helpful. How has it worked for you?
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
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I had one very similar - it bred mosquitoes like crazy in the fall. Maybe glue on a little bit of old window screen over the holes to the water reservoir.
 
Jake Scelsa
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Doug this is a excellent idea!
Emily i have another idea that you may find useful. I saw the idea online and am experimenting w it this year. Theyre called bottle towers. theyre self watering but limited to only growing leafy shallow root plants. it does require a chain ink fence or something to wire tie the tower to in order to keep it up right. its essentially just plastic bottes i collected with the bottoms cut off and theyre stacked on top o eachother. the bottom bottle has the cap on and drainage holes and is filled w soil. all the following bottles have no caps. once you hAve all of the bottles filled w soil you want to plant, take one more empty bottle which acts as a funnel and stack it on. poke a hole into the cap of the next and final bottle and fill it up w water and it will slowly trickle down the system. in order to sow seeds i cut 3 sides of the front of the bottle. this is where the leaves will grow out of. i found that langers and ocean spray cranberry juice bottles r the best. the round seltzer bottles arent as nice as the square bottles. its benefits are that its very space effecient and very easy to maintain. its just limited to lettuce spinach maybe some herbs.
 
Emily Aaston
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Sounds very intriguing Jake. Do you have any photos?
 
Jake Scelsa
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its an experiment..
IMG_1602.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_1602.JPG]
u can see the top 2 bottles. the first acting as a funnel and the second holding water
IMG_1603.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_1603.JPG]
i have lettuce and spinach and will be trying some herbs
 
Doug Pillow
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Emily Aaston wrote:Very cool! Thank you for sharing. I am doing all kinds of research right now to create a container garden and this is very helpful. How has it worked for you?


As they say, the proof is in the pudding.
Seeds in the bucket were planted the same day as seeds in the starter cells.

Both were placed on the front porch, and the starter cells on the left use the same soils as in the bucket.
The colored container to the edge are one of the peas that I started indoors from seeds between layers of wet paper towels.

I think it is a combination of being perfectly watered and wind protection from the top of the bucket. Not sure, but I do know it is working just fine so far.
I just need to run and get about 20 more buckets and scatter them around the yard.



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