DIY self-watering containers

Photo credit: Hubpages

Morning sunshine hitting a patio garden growing tomatoes and peppers. A couple of the plants are more than 6 feet tall.

Source: ©2015 Studio 2-Dawgs

Grow Veggies Anywhere with These DIY Self-watering Containers

By twodawgs


An Idea That Made Container Gardening (Almost) Foolproof

A recent development in gardening technology is the emergence of the sub-irrigating(a.k.a. “self-watering”) container. This idea has helped make it possible for more people to grow some of their own food – and more kinds of it – in places we never imagined, such as patios, apartment balconies, or even abandoned parking lots and city building rooftops. What does a self-watering plant container do? Does it mean you’ll never have to water it?

Not exactly. You do have to water it, but not nearly as often, and it takes all the guesswork out of knowing when to add water, and how much to add.

A sub-irrigating container design based on 2 5-gallon buckets.
A sub-irrigating container design based on 2 5-gallon buckets.

Source: Studio 2-Dawgs
Read the full article: Hubpages

Self Watering Rain Gutter Grow System (Larry HALL)


The Original Self Watering Rain Gutter Grow System!!!!


How To Build A Self Watering Rain Gutter Grow System!



Sunday June 26th


Rain Gutter Grow System Update July 29th 2011


Rain Gutter Grow Sysytem update Aug 20th 2011


rain gutter garden update Aug 28th 2011


Rain Gutter Grow System Update Oct 22 2011 Beets and Carrots!

Serlf-Watering Conversion Kits

Read at : Fine Gardening

Make all your pots self-watering

Self-Watering Conversion Kits Create Self-Watering Planters

These Self-Watering Conversion Kits convert your favorite pots into self-watering planters, keeping your plants from drying out and reducing the time you spend watering. Just place this self-contained adjustable reservoir in the bottom of your pot, insert the refill tube and cover with soil. The One-Gallon Conversion Kit holds four quarts and fits pots between 16″ and 20″ in diameter at the rim. The smaller One-Quart Conversion Kit holds one quart and fits pots up to 10-14″ top diameter. Simply fill the reservoir with water through the convenient Fill Tube. The soil will be moistened through evaporative action from the reservoir below.

  • A vacation watering solution!
  • Includes a water level indicator
  • May be used with a liquid or a water-soluble fertilizer
  • Subirrigation with House Plants (Plant Care Tips)

    Read at : Plant care Tips

    Subirrigation with House Plants

    Should You Consider Using Sub-Irrigation

    One of the biggest areas people have problems in caring for their house plants is with – watering. Usually it’s too much.

    One method called SUB-IRRIGATION, which can help take a lot of guesswork out of watering.

    Many interior plant professionals (plantscapers) use subirrigation as their preferred method of watering. They find watering plants from the bottom, easier and quicker than top watering. This can also improve plant quality and plant health by spending more time on the plant and its physical maintenance, such as grooming the plant, cleaning leaves, etc. instead of watering. Continue reading Subirrigation with House Plants (Plant Care Tips)

    I.V. Drip Feed Pot Plant (Gardening Tips ‘n’ Ideas)

    Read at :

    Gardening Tips ‘n’ Ideas

    I.V. Drip Feed Pot Plant

    Are these the cutest pot plant containers, ever?

    If you’re someone who struggles to keep plants alive in their pots then utilizing the wonders of modern medicine may be a good option. Each plant is sustained by its own water and nutrient source that is very visible – as an intravenous feed. If the drip feed runs out, it’s time to refill.

    While it might be the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, at £159.50 from the Vitamin store, you’re not likely to keep one for anything other than its novelty value.

    Found via Domestik Goddess


    Thanks Stuart ! Seems to be a great tip for some of us looking for keeping plants alive in extremely dry conditions, like in the desert gardens. Maybe we can develop some “cheaper” variants ?

    May I recommend the visitors of my blog to visit also

    and find numerous splendid ideas on container gardening, creating “hunger” to try them out.



    Maple seedling in a plastic bottle (Willem)

    Looking for opportunities to grow tree seedlings in plastic (PET) bottles, I transplanted a maple seedling (Acer pseudoplatanus) from my garden in a bottle and studied its ethology.

    Growth was rather slow, but steady. It shows that young tree seedlings can easily be grown in plastic bottles. This would certainly help to reuse the bottles and thus contribute to combat environmental pollution.

    Maple seedling in a bottle
    Maple seedling in an inverted plastic bottle standing in a yoghurt pot. I keep the lid (stop) on the bottle and perforate the bottleneck just above the stop at two opposite sites. This is a sort of cheap self-watering system. One can also put one or two wicks through the perforations in the bottleneck to facilitate the uptake of water.  (Click on the photo to enlarge it).

    Combating desertification and food insecurity with container gardening (N. ROTH / Willem)

    Today, I received an interesting comment of Nancy ROTH on my former posting :

    Great ideas for container gardening (Willem) August 14, 2007

    I’m having a hard time imagining how this containerized approach, nifty as is appears, could be helpful at the scale needed to reverse desertification or to feed a major population. Isn’t it rather labor-intensive to create a separate container for each plant? Don’t the seedlings rather rapidly outgrow their containers? Then where do you plant them in the desert, which cannot sustain them?

    Combating desertification and food insecurity with container gardening

    Let us try to link different aspects of container gardening, desertification, desert gardening, food production, education and ecology.

    Knowing that millions of plastic bottles and plastic shopping bags are littered every year all over the world, in particular in the desertified areas, it seems indicated to find incentives to get the local people aware these pollution problems.  Learning people, especially children, how these bottles and bags can be used to produce vegetables and young tree, seems to be a valuable (and acceptable) way to motivate the population to take care of the environment.  Less littering means less pollution, a form of desertification.

    Motivating children to grow vegetables and young fruit trees in self-watering containers at school contributes directly to solve two major problems : pollution of the environment (less plastic flying around) and malnutrition (daily fresh food at school).  Moreover, the young fruits trees can be taken home at the end of the school year, planted around the house and thus contribute to reforestation (or afforestation) and provision of healthy fruits, not to forget the fact that the plastic bottles or bags should be buried at plantation time.

    Considering desert gardening : it is quite difficult to improve the soil qualities in the desert, in particular its water holding and nutrients retaining capacities (too much leaching).  Let us imagine that in  small family garden a series of self-watering containers, e.g. plastic bottles and bags, are buried in the garden soil.  These containers can be filled with “improved soil” (for instance treated with manure).  As more water will be retained in the containers (less infiltration), more biomass can be produced with a smaller quantity of water and less fertilizer (less leaching).  This higher water use efficiency leads to higher food production and less influence of drought on crops (more food security).

    Around the gardens, living hedges can also be grown in containers buried in the soil.  There is a significant enhancement in survival rate of the shrubs and trees in the hedges an those plants are growing quicker with less water.

    From the educational point of view, container gardening is a fantastic tool for the teachers at school.  Less difficulties for the pupils to keep the school garden in good shape, closer contact with the growing plants in or around the classroom, opportunities to teach the kids a lot of things about differences in plant development from seed to vegetable or tree, are but a few benefits of this container gardening method.

    You are most certainly right that it is hard  “imagining how this containerized approach, nifty as is appears, could be helpful at the scale needed to reverse desertification or to feed a major population”.

    We are not claiming that container gardening itself can reverse desertification or feed  major population.  However, should every family apply container gardening, should every child at school take care of its own containers, it would create a new attitude, more awareness, less fatalism and neglect, more hope for a better future.

    Of course, one needs a lot of support to introduce these ideas.  It will take a lot of time to convince people.  But the fact is quite clear : where container gardening is accepted people eat more fresh food and the environment is gradually cleaner.

    It’s a simple as putting our shoes on !


    Mahonia seedlings in selfwatering containers (Willem)

    The mahogany shrub (Mahonia aquifolium) in my garden has been flowering and fruiting.  Its dark blue berries are normally eaten by the blackbirds, but this year I collected them in time, kept them drying for a couple of weeks and then planted the dry berries in a tray.  Other berries were opened and their little 2-3 kernel were taken out and washed.

    Last week some of the berries in the tray germinated (the kernels did not yet).  I have planted some mahogany seedlings in a small coca-cola bottle, transformed into a self-watering container (see my photo below).  I expect that these seedlings will grow well, so that I can take the young trees to S.W. Algeria, where I want to introduce them as thorny shrubs to form a strong living hedge around the small family gardens in the refugee camps.

    Mahonia seedlings in selfwatering container
    (Click on the photo to enlarge it)

    My self-watering containers with the mahogany seedlings :

    (1) In front, a leaf of my mahogany shrub.

    (2) Two yoghurt pots in which I can easily pour some water (serving as a mini water reservoir or tank).

    (3) In each pot, an inverted coca-cola bottle of which I cut the bottom, filled with potting mix and TerraCottem soil conditioner, with a mahogany seedling planted on top.

    (4) I left the lid (stop) on the bottles, but perforated the neck, close to the lid, at two opposite sites.

    (5) The bottles are sucking up water from the yoghurt pots through the holes in the bottleneck.

    (6) Water is stocked in the TerraCottem soil conditioner.

    (7) Mahogany roots are growing towards the gel lumps of the swollen polymers.

    (8) With a minimum of water and fertilizer the seedlings will be growing into nice young trees.

    (9) The bottles will be cut vertically in two halves and buried in the plant hole at the moment of tree plantation (avoiding pollution of the environment with plastic).

    Bottle gardening: experiment with Green Ambrosia (Y.PATEL / Willem)

    Some weeks ago I received a fertilizer from India, sent by Mr. Yogesh. I promised him to set up some experiments with his “Green Ambrosia“.

    Here are the first pictures of the experiment set-up :

    Different bottle sizes

    Starting the experiment with 3 different bottle sizes. Each bottle cut in 2 parts : 1/3 bottom (serving as a water reservoir), 2/3 top inverted in the bottom part. I leave the lid (stop) on the bottle and make two small openings in the lower part of the come (bottleneck), just above the lid through which water from the bottom tank can be absorbed. (Click on the photo to enlarge it).

    3 different bottles with Brussels sprouts

    The bottle is filled with a potting mix and a seedling of Brussels sprouts (a cabbage variety) is planted in it.

    I am carrying out the experiment with 4 bottles of each size (12 bottles in total) and split up in 2 series :

    (1) One series is kept as control (without any special treatment, just leaving the plants growing in the bottles)

    (2) One series is treated with the fertilizer Green Ambrosia.

    I will publish a report on this after ending the experiment.

    Water your Container Plants Correctly (Gardening.ygoy)

    Read at :

    Gardening.ygoy (see my Blogroll)

    Water your Container Plants Correctly

    Watering your container plants correctly is very important. Often Houseplants tend to die from improper watering over all other factors. Here are some tips that may come handy to you while you water your potted houseplants. Continue reading Water your Container Plants Correctly (Gardening.ygoy)