We made these self watering wicking vegetable garden containers out of old totes. They hold water on the bottom and you only have to fill them once a week or so depending on how hot it is and if it rains or not.
We bought 4” perforated drainage tubing and cut them so that two fit in the bottom each tub. The purpose is to keep an air pocket under the root system so that they don’t sit in water.
We then drilled a hole about 3” up from the bottom so that the water won’t cover the tubes, creating an air pocket.
This shows the hole is lower then top of tube.
We used landscaping material to cover the tubes, this separates the dirt from the water. You don’t have to top water. The roots draw the water up. The pvc pipe goes on the underside of the material. This is how you get the water to the bottom.
This is the mix we used. It’s very lightweight so it won’t harden like dirt does.
The soil goes on top of the landscape material. Then we tuck the landscape material down into the container like in the next picture.
This was when we first planted my seedlings that I grew from seeds. The hose is filling the bottom.
If you can see in this picture, the water runs out of the hole when it’s full on the bottom. This also happens if it rains.
My little seedlings. Tomatoes, green bell pepper, jalapeño, green onion.
This is after a few weeks. They are growing strong and fast. I will have to stake them soon. I’m hoping we can store these away for the winter and reuse them for a few years.
I wanted to add, in this picture my husband put one tub on blocks. He is doing an experiment to see if it makes any difference being off the ground. I’ll update later on.