In hot, sunny weather, keeping plants in containers watered can take a considerable amount of time. Then there’s always the anxiety about how plants will fare when you’re away for a wellearned break. One solution is to use selfwatering pots, such as this.
It’s actually very easy and inexpensive to make one, so in this tutorial we’ll show you how stepbystep. You’ll need two containers which, when stacked, will leave a gap between the bottom and top containers. The gap will serve as your water reservoir. If there isn’t enough of a gap you can use some plastic pots to raise the top container up a little more.
We’re using two 5gallon (20 liter) foodgrade plastic buckets. You can often pick these up for free from restaurants, or very cheaply from home improvement stores. You’ll also need a one and a half inch (3cm) diameter plastic pipe long enough to run the length of the two buckets, a plastic cup, yogurt pot or similar to act as a wicking chamber and of course some quality potting soil and your plants.
Start by preparing the wicking chamber. This should dangle down from the top bucket into the bottom. Stuffed with potting soil, it will draw or wick water from the reservoir up into the top bucket. Use a marker pen to trace an outline of the pot onto the middle of the top bucket. Now cut it out. You can use a keyhole saw or a hacksaw for this.
Here i’m using a drill to make lots of small holes so i can use a sharp knife to cut the plastic out. The wicking chamber will need lots of holes all over the sides to allow the water to enter from the reservoir. Use a halfinch (1cm) wide drill bit to make these. Now for the water delivery pipe. Begin by cutting one end of your plastic pipe at a 45degree angle like this.
This will allow the water to freely flow from the pipe into the reservoir without getting blocked. Cut the top end so it stands clear of the final soil level. Now cut a hole into the bottom of the top bucket so the pipe can pass into the reservoir. Make sure it’s snug fit by tracing the outline then cutting to size. The top bucket will need some drainage holes for healthy root growth. Drill lots of quarterinch or 5mm holes into its base.
You can go for a random pattern or an orderly effects such as this. Stack the top bucket into the bottom bucket, then mark off using a pen where the top buckets sits. Remove the top bucket and drill a quarterinch (5mm) hole into the bottom bucket just below this line. This will serve as an overflow hole, so the potting soil in the top bucket never gets waterlogged. It also removes any guesswork from filling the reservoir just stop when the water starts to drain out from the overflow.
Now it’s time to assemble the container. Insert the top bucket into the bottom bucket. Fill the wicking chamber with potting soil, firming it in for good contact, then slot the chamber snugly into its hole. Slide the water delivery pipe into place, pointy end down. Fill the top bucket with potting soil, moistening with water as you fill.
Soda Bottle Watering System For Growing Plants In Containers
We grow peppers and eggplant in these half barrels and it works really well except in the summer when it gets hot and dry. It takes a long time if you’re running a sprinkler to get these things to get enough water and because I drilled drainage holes in the bottom, I should have what time about 4 inches from the bottom on the side of barrel, I’ve mentioned that before. So I was looking different watering systems and Donald over on webcajun did a tutorial on how he.
Waters his plants using a piece of pvc pipe and he mentioned he got the idea from a guy named Jeff over at Bologna ringRanch and I watched both tutorials and this is my version for watering these half barrels. First remove the cap from a 2 liter soda bottle then take a flat screwdriver and stick under the collar that remains on the bottleneck and twist it till it snaps off. Then take the soda bottle stick it upside down in a vice and take a 2 inch hole saw and cut a.
Hole in the bottom, start with the side going forward until the drill bit goes through the bottle and then put it in reverse to finish the hole. Take some 1 inch PVC and cut it into 12 inch long pieces, stick one end of it in the vice, then take a heat gun and shoot it down through the center of the pipe. I’m going to let the tutorial run here in full time because it doesn’t take that long to soften the pipe, just so you get an idea of how long it takes to soften the pipe with the heat gun on high. When the.
Pipe is soft enough use two hands push down firmly on the bottle and screw the bottle into the pipe until the whole neck of the bottle is seated in the pipe and then let it cool. You can’t push on the bottle to put these into the dirt it will either crush the bottle or separate it from the pipe so take another piece of pipe make a hole part of the distance you want the thing in the dirt, if you want it 9 inches on the ground push a piece of.
Pipe 6 inches into the ground first then insert the bottle and take the other piece of pipe slide it inside the bottle and use that to push it 3 more inches into the dirt and then fill it with water. The first time I used them about a third to about a quarter of the water drained out between a half an hour and an hour it took over night for the rest of the water to drain out of the bottles.