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]

 

One thought on “Homemade Self Watering Planter – $5 & 30 Minutes Labor

  1. WOW! you did it!! I have wondered how I could make my own as well, although some of the basic self waterers are super cheap at walmart this is fantastic. and you got it right because those tomatoes look beyond fantastic. you are so clever Pam!

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