Self-watering containers

One of the BIG drawbacks of container gardening is the need for constant watering. Until now! A new idea from the US helps solve the watering problem simply and without complicated technology.

The self-watering containers have a water reservoir in the bottom with drainage holes about 50-75mm (2-3inches) up the side. Gravel is used to fill the bottom up to the level of the holes. Compost is added on top.  It took about 15-20 minutes to make and fill each container.

Step by step instructions (Click on any image to enlarge)

Drill holes about 50mm from the bottom spaced about 250mm apart using a 10mm or larger drill.
Fill with gravel up to the levels of the holes. For the first troughs I used horticultural grit which was too fine, I suggest using 10mm pea gravel.
Add water to the trough until it runs out of the holes.
Add the peat free compost.
Sow the seeds. The mixed salad germinated in 5 days (in sumer.)
Here is the large lettuce trough 24 days later. You can eat the thinning, there were plenty here as the seed was sown too thickly.

That’s it! All you need to do is periodically add water until in runs out of the holes.

Plant care
If you grow bigger plants don’t forget to feed them regularly, especially tomatoes which will also need more regular watering. Lettuce are not hungry so may not need any food, other than what is in the compost.  See how they go, if the leaves look pale and insipid them feed a little and see what happens. If your lettuce have very dark green leaves then you may be over feeding.

If you get stuck, or have any questions, then please use the Forum or email info@organicgarden.org.uk