Self-Watering Container Gardening

Well, my vegetable garden isn’t looking the best that I think it should. So I’ve decided to change direction because I think my issue here in the desert is watering. Our vegetable garden is set up on the same irrigation system as the rest of the garden, which happens to be drought tolerant plants. So….

…after watching many videos, including this one with great instructions, I decided I would try making a self-watering container garden. I went to the store and bought one tote, three 2.5 gallon water jugs and three bags of potting mix. I also grabbed two empty water bottles from my recycling bin.

Following the instructions on the video, I cut the bottoms off the 2.5 gallon water jugs, and a hole in one jug for the filler bottles. I also “drilled” an overflow hole in the side of the tote with a small knife. Then my container was ready to fill with planting mix and water. Some of the other videos I watched included adding holes for aeration. This video didn’t mention aeration holes, so I didn’t include them.

Here is my finished container. I used the stick in the picture to make sure that all the holes between the jugs were filled with soil. I then started filling with water through the filler bottles. If you click the picture on the right, you should be able to see the hole in the container with the water trickling out. That’s how you know it’s full. I also watered it from the top which is probably what I should have done first because water has been coming out of that little hole for quite a while. Oh well, another lesson learned.

After it was finished, I planted some seeds…. yes, yes, I know, it’s probably way too late in the season for that, but I had to try. I planted 9 bush bean seeds in one half and 4 tomato seeds in the other half. This follows the square foot gardening plan that I’ll talk more about later.

As another test, I thought it would be fun to make one out of an old lemonade powder container. I’m trying to grow cilantro in it. (Side note here: all the plants that I was trying to start in the house died! I think it was a combination of not enough water, using clay pots in our dry climate, and the recent use of AC since it’s started to warm up.) This container probably won’t work either, but at least I’ve “tried” to grow something in my house.

After all this work, I stumbled upon a video made by two teenage brothers who were talking about self-watering container gardens and a system they have developed!!!!! These boys rock!!! Head over to their channel (GlobalBuckets) right away and view their eight videos. These young men are so so smart and explain everything so well. As soon as I can, I’m going to set up this type of system on my patio!!! I’m going to have to watch the videos a few more times though to make sure I get it right. I’m so happy I found this information. Let me know what you think of their videos and if this is something you’ll think you’ll do also.

In addition to the self-watering container gardening, I’m also going to be making a worm composting bin. I tried a traditional composting pile, but it’s not working. The worm bin sounds like the perfect solution for me… I’ll get really great “worm” tea and compost. I can even keep it in the house if I need too, which I think I will because we have a lot of palmetto bugs in our yard… yucky!. Here is the first video I saw about worm bins. There are lots more videos on the internet and I still have to decide which one I’ll use to make my worm bin. I know I’ll be doing a double-decker so I can have one that is active with worms and kitchen scraps and one that is ready to be used for the garden. I’ll keep you posted.

“However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter,
so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city,
but was outside in deserted places;
and they came to Him from every direction
Mark 1:45 NKJV

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