Thursday, April 08, 2010

Self Watering bucket planters

It is taking quite a while to get rid of the Dreaded Bermuda Grass of Death in my garden plot and it's time to get tomatoes and peppers in the ground. So I needed some kind of container. But things just fry here in the blazing Texas heat during the summer and I just can't keep up with the water so I decided that SIP, Sub-irrigated planters are the way to go. I found a web site( that had directions I thought I could follow and this is the result.
2 5 gal buckets ( I had some left over Tractor Supply buckets from the chickens, I could use some leftover oil buckets as well)
1 18oz Solo plastic cup
1 4'X 1" PVC drinking water grade pipe
a jigsaw
a drill
First, drill a bunch of 1/4' holes in the bottom of hte bucket

measure the circumference of the solo cup about 3-4 inches up( I used a string to do this)
Then use the jigsaw to cut out the center hole big enough for the cup to slide into. In my case it was just slightly bigger than that round ridge in the center of the bucket.

Then cut a hole for the PVC pipe about 1/2" from the edge of the bucket. I had to make a bunch of holes with the drill and then ues the jigsaw to break the hole open and I still didn't get the end nearest the edge to come off so I just bent the plastic down. look at the above pix and you can see the circle holes I used .
Then cut 4 slits in the solo cup from about 1/2 an inch from the top to about 1/2 an inch from the bottom. Put cup in hole, put pipe in hole

Next, stick this bucket inside the other uncut bucket.

measure how far apart the bottom of each buckets are from each other. In this case they are 3.5 inches apart when inside each other. Drill a hole just below this line in the outer bucket for an overflow hole and there you have a planter ready for potting mix. The mix goes down into the cup and it acts as a wick to pull water up from the bottom bucket. Total cost 5.00/planter ( I had a bunch of Solo cups in the pantry.

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