Originally posted 7-17-09
Plastic Garden Container
As you can see, they're kind of scary. But, they work. There are two buckets, both the same god-awful color and the same size. The top bucket has holes drilled in the bottom, the bottom bucket has a "watering hole" opening cut about 2 1/2-3 inches above the bottom, but below where the top bucket ends. You can pour your water/VermaPlex® into the hole as it is used up, probably a couple of times a week. Viola'! Your hideous "buckets" are turned into a self-watering plastic garden container.
The rim holds the top bucket above, creating a reservoir area for the water. In the middle of the bottom bucket is a small plastic container (cool-whip) with holes in the bottom, full of the same potting soil mix, resting in the water. It acts as the wick for pulling water into the top bucket potting soil.
Excess water can drain out the watering hole. We have a plastic tray under the plastic garden container to catch any runoff and protect the porch, but if it's on the ground that wouldn't be necessary. So, the potting soil mix from the top bucket can pull water as needed from the bottom bucket's water reservoir. The plant never dries out and there's no washing away of nutrients.
As mentioned in the start of our container garden series, we'll place a piece of plastic or mulch around the plants to further reduce water loss and keep the plant cool. We found detailed instructions here on building these self-watering container pots.
Don't you think camouflaging the plastic garden containers with nice woven baskets of more neutral shades would help? I'm feeling a little nauseous.
Certified Organic Fertilizer Resources for Self-Watering Container Garden :
VermaMax®: Chicken Litter organically composted using VermaPlex®.
VermaPlex®: Created from Certified Organic Pure Black Castings™. Innoculate your garden soil and your compost heap.