It was a beautiful day in Cleveland, so I washed down the self watering containers I made last year, filled them with potting soil and planted salad greens. While I was doing this I thought maybe others would like to know how to make self watering containers. Last year I made 3 different types of self watering containers and all grew veggies very well. My containers were also considerably cheaper than the earth boxes sold for $60-$70 in garden centers. The most difficult part is finding the planters, planter saucers, and pond plant pots that all fit snug together. It took me a few days last year to gather the materials, but today since I have everything, I washed them down and planted in 4 planters in less than an hour. These are what I did today. I will be posting pictures of the others types as I plant them.
1. Select a planter pot. Find a saucer that will fit far enough down in the pot that it will sit firmly on the pond plant pots.
2. Cut a hole in the side of the planter that is just slightly below the level of the saucer as it sits on the pond pot. This will be the drain hole to allow excess water to drain from the water reservoir.
3. Cut 4-5 holes in the saucer which will line up with the pond pot inside the pot.
4. Fill the pond pot with potting soil.
5. Place the saucer on top.
6. Cut a hole in the saucer to fit a pipe. Be sure that the pipe you choose is made out of a material that will not leach harmful chemicals into your soil. I used copper.
7. Insert pipe into hole.
8. Fill planter with potting soil and plant.
The idea for these planters is adapted from the book “The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible” by Edward C. Smith. I recommend borrowing this book from the library before you start any container gardens, it is an excellent resource! I very rarely buy books (I am a regular at the library) but this is one book I purchased and use every spring.