Sunday, 15 April 2012

DIY self watering pots

In the garden I try to DIY as much as possible. For both environmental and financial reasons. When I first started out, quite a few sites on the interwebs had instructions for cutting a milk or soft bottle in half and inverting the top half to make a self watering pot. Recently I have been taking it a step further and turning the handle into a spout. It has been working so well that I thought I would document and share.

 Empty milk bottle, that would otherwise go in the trash

Cut ~2 cm below the handle

Cut off the handle

 Poke holes around the opening - for water to seep into the soil. Perhaps not necessary but I have found it works better if I do this.

Feed the handle back through the hole left where it was cut off. Can duct tape it into place, but I have since found its ok without the duct tape - as long as you hold the handle/spout in place while filling the pot with soil.

Place the top, with the spout, upside down in the bottom half of the container.
Optional extra - as I had some old hand towels I was cutting up for other purposes I added a wick - through the 2nd hole left by where the handle was cut away. Usually I don't bother. 

 Tada! Add soil to the top and pour water down the spout and you have a home made self-watering pot.
I have been using these in my greenhouse to raise larger seedlings.

Previously I added an overflow hole on the side - about half way up, but I don't bother anymore. As the container is see-through I can see how much water is in it. It is covered (in the greenhouse) so there is no chance of rainfall flooding the plant. Minimising access to the stagnant water will hopefully prevent mozzies breeding in there - I am very wary of creating too many mozzie breeding grounds in my garden.

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