October 24, 2014

How to Make a DIY Self Watering plant Container

A DIY Self Watering plant Container is a gardener's dream. Self watering plant containers have water  reservoirs from which plant roots can wick up water according to the plant's need. A huge benefit of this is that gardeners can water less frequently without drying out plants. As you will see below, this simple and cost effective design even ensures that plant roots will not rot in the water.


To build this DIY Self Watering plant Container, you will need the following.

  • 2 containers. They must allow for one to fit into the other with some air space between the bottoms of both. That space will create the reservoir of the DIY Self Watering plant Container 
  • A basket of some kind. If you do not have a basket, a plastic bottle from the kitchen can be used and converted into a basket. As pictured immediately below, a small plant pot is fine. However, as you will see a few photos later, I changed my mind after taking the photo below and used an old vinegar bottle from the kitchen. The basket should be roughly the height of the air space between the bottoms of the 2 containers. 
  • As a watering hole, narrow pep bottles that jointly measure the height of the top container or a narrow PVC pipe. In this case, I used 5 gallon containers and found that two 500 ml pep bottles served this purpose.
  • To protect the watering hole from mosquitoes and strain leaves and other debris, use an old cotton sock. Some people prefer to completely cover the opening with a PVC cap to fit the watering hole diameter 
  • To cover the base of the top container, cotton fabric that is a little larger than the base of that (bottom) container. In this case, I used a crocus bag. However, since crocus bags disintegrate very quickly in the garden, I prefer using old t-shirts as they lasted much longer for other of my DIY Self Watering plant Containers. 
  • Twine or roughly 4 cable ties
  • A drill set
  • -- --
  • Something to cut the pep bottles or 'basket' bottles. A serrated knife or saw will usually suffice
  • A saw


How to make a DIY Self Watering plant Container - Things you will need
Some things you will need to make a DIY Self Watering Plant Container. See the full list above.
As pictured immediately below, drill holes in the base of the top container. These holes will allow excess water to drain into the reservoir.
How to make a DIY Self Watering plant Container - Drill holes into the base of the top container
How to make a DIY Self Watering plant Container: Drill holes into the base of the top container 



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In order to accommodate the basket, cut out a hole in the base of the top container. That hole should accommodate the diameter of the basket. (In the image immediately above, it was unnecessary to drill the hole in the center. After all, a saw will be used to create the space for the basket, just on the inside of the next set of circles of holes).

If your basket will be made from a bottle, cut off the top. If your basket container does not already have holes, make holes at the bottom and along the sides as pictured immediately below. Ensure that the top edge of the basket has roughly 4 holes. You will need to thread twine or cable ties through and between these holes and the nearby ones in the base of the top container. This will prevent the the basket from shifting.

How to make a DIY Self Watering plant Container




In addition, make a second hole in the base of the top container to very snuggly accommodate the watering hole. As shown immediately above, draw the edge of the circle before cutting the hole to avoid any mistakes.


How to make a DIY Self Watering plant Container

If your watering hole will be made of pep bottles, cut off their bottoms. The picture immediately below shows the first upside down bottle in the container. The mouth of the second bottle will fit upside down into it.
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As shown immediately below, place the watering hole cover over its top end. Cover the base of the bottom container with fabric. Be sure to push fabric into the basket so as to line it. The soil will be placed within that cavity. Consequently, that soil will always have direct access to the water reservoir in the bottom container. 
How to make a DIY Self Watering plant Container for a tropical organic garden



How to make a DIY Self Watering plant Container for a tropical organic garden

As pictured immediately below, drill about 2 holes on the side of the bottom container at the height just below where the top container reaches when placed within it. These holes will ensure that excess water can flow out of the reservoir rather than swamp the soil.
How to Make a DIY Self Watering plant Container

You can now add soil and your plant. Hooray!


How to make a DIY Self Watering plant Container for a tropical organic garden
This DIY Self Watering plant Container  has a piece of drift wood  as a trellis. The red stem is part of the small Malabar spinach that is growing inside. Behind in a corner are garlic chives. Look closely at the center left of the image to spot the top of the watering hole that was covered with a now gray brown sock. 

How to make a DIY Self Watering plant Container for a tropical organic garden
This DIY Self Watering plant Container uses a guava branch as a trellis for the malabar spinach. Look closely to the center left to see the the watering hole that was covered with a crocus bag. The crocus bag is disintegrating. 

CONTENT RELATED TO MAKING A DIY SELF WATERING PLANT CONTAINER



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