Homemade Self Watering Planter – $5 & 30 Minutes Labor

So I was checking out some gardening equipment online a few months back and stumbled across one of these. It’s a self watering planter for people who don’t have a lot of space, plus it can be used on the patio or a porch if that’s all you have. Plus it’s $40.

Considering I’m the type of person who likes to deconstruct things just to see how they work here’s what came next. My engineering mind figured I could probably construct my own self watering planter for less money and here’s what happened. After doing a little research around the garage I found enough items to do what I needed except for a good 5 gallon bucket. I picked up a good bucket at the hardware store and now it was time to put things together.

All the supplies needed to construct a self watering planter for my tomato plants.

All the supplies needed to construct a self watering planter for my tomato plants.

 

 

Cut the unused field lines so that they lay in the bottom of the buckets.  Insert a piece of 1 1/2 tubing into the bottom, so you can add water directly to the gravel area in the bottom.  Cover with gravel and landscape cloth as this is where the excess water will live.  A 1/2 inch hole was drilled at the top of the gravel for drainage.

Cut the unused field lines so that they lay in the bottom of the buckets. Insert a piece of 1 1/2 tubing into the bottom, so you can add water directly to the gravel area in the bottom. Cover with gravel and landscape cloth as this is where the excess water will live. A 1/2 inch hole was drilled at the top of the gravel for drainage.

 

Next I placed a tomato cage into the bucket and then filled almost to the top with some good potting mix. I placed them early so I wouldn’t move around the drain lines in the bottom.

Since the planters are pretty heavy and a little awkward to move when filled I decided to put them on planter casters. This worked out great when we had a late frost as I just rolled them into the garage and back out once things warmed back up. We did have a windstorm on day and one of the planters blew over, actually it blew the planter and it rolled off the side of the sidewalk and turned over. I’ve fixed that now by adding a paver next to the buckets so they don’t roll.

Here’s what it looks like today:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzkf-tSdcxc
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzkf-tSdcxc&w=560&h=315]

 

Blooming Cactus I Say!

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In 2000 someone at work was going to throw out a small cactus plant that just wouldn’t grow.  I took it since I knew it only needed more light than what it was getting in the office.  Well it didn’t fare too well for me in my sun room either.  Then two weeks ago I moved it to my front steps and now it’s booming!  Maybe it’s happy now in its new home or either it’s going through some type of blooming cycle that comes around every 14 years or so.  I’ll never know but I can enjoy its blooms!
*June 1, 2014 – Update – that was the only day the blooms were open.

Happy Memorial Day

I hope everyone has a safe and fun Memorial Day..

 

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae, 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Sunday Snap – Vintage Travel

Can you imagine a time traveling when your luggage made a statement!

Can you imagine a time traveling when your luggage made a statement!

Just a little something for Sunday. I have a slight obsession with all things vintage and especially travel. Over the past couple years I’ve found a few of these hard sided suitcases and a couple train cases that I couldn’t leave behind. In 2014 we’re happy packing our clothes and belongings into some type of carrier that meets weight and size restriction. We want our luggage to survive what ever it may face once it leaves our hands headed for TSA. These suitcases that I’ve found are well traveled and looks to have been loved by their owners and treated with respect by airline luggage handlers. I wonder what stories they could tell?

Vintage Travel

 

Frugal Laundry Detergent #2

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Laundry Soap

A few years ago I was using a liquid laundry detergent that I made.  I thought about doing this again but now I have a new HE front loading washer.  A little research later here’s what I’m testing right now:  1 cup each:  borax, washing soda, oxy booster, Purex crystals and one bar Felsnaptha.  More to come after a few loads of laundry.