Friday, January 8, 2016

Self Watering Containers

As many of you have no doubt experienced, drought and dry summers are becoming just one more thing gardeners are having to contend with when trying to grow plants. Self-watering beds are a great option to beat the heat, especially for someone growing a few plants on their patio or balcony or for people who travel and may be gone for a few days. A self-watering bed is good because you can simply fill the reservoir to overflowing and it will wick up the moisture into the soil as it needs it while you're away. 

The major drawback to wicking or self-watering beds is the cost. Veseys has some lovely ones but I'm sure the price tag puts a lot of people off. $200-400 for the basic unit isn't unreasonable, it's just unaffordable for many. But never fear! You know I've used them before and I've found a set of plans online that are cheap, easy to follow, and reusable for many years. 

This is the time of year that storage totes go on sale. I recommend Rubbermaid but that's just my personal preference. You can use any tote that has a lid. Do you have some extras from a past move or from de-cluttering your house? You can use those. You'll need some pipe, a tote, plastic garbage bag, cable or zip ties, fertilizer (or mix in slow release fertilizer to the mix and of course good quality potting mix. I also sometimes put a single piece of landscape fabric over the inner tray before putting down my soil but you don't have to. Check out all the instructions for several variations from a five gallon pail to a large tub. I'm posting this on my phone so I may not be able to connect the hyperlink until later. http://postoilsolutions.org/documents/earthbox.pdf

Well I have to go. The kids school bus just came 15 minutes early so of course they missed it. Now I'm going to have to drive them which I'm not happy about. What happens to all the other kids who miss the bus and their parents already left for work? Of the normally 7 kids at our stop, nobody was there yet. You'd think that would be a hint. Oh well, time to go. Have a lovely day!

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