This is an idea I saw from another user. They used a plumbing ballcock mechanism to make it function.
When I started crafting, I wondered if their might be an easier way to facilitate auto watering instead of having to do all the cutting and using all the adhesive that was needed to modify a float valve for a toilet. I will be honest I can be impatient at times.
I created this because the other earth buckets I made go through ALOT of water a day. I have to fill them up like 3 times a day.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
1. A Drill
2. Various Drill bits to fit your needs. (this will be based on what type of float valve you purchase, as there a several sizes)
6. Pond Bucket (I found these at the dollar store, I don't think their actually pond buckets but they suite our needs.)
7. Float valve for an evaporative cooler.
There were several options when I purchased a float valve including ones that can be adjusted. I wouldn't recommend that you do this for one reason. It doesn't have to be perfect. You are only looking for to keep the bottom part of the pond bucket submerged in water so it can wick into the soil.
The rod on the float can be bent up or down to provide some adjustment.
9. 1/4 inch hose
10. 3/8 inch hose
11. 3/8 to 1/4 step down
12. Plastic JB weld
13. PVC pipe primer and adhesive.
14. Plastic Shelf supports (the box should tell what size drill bit you need for these. The ones I purchased required a 3/16 drill bit.
Step 2: Prepare the Bucket
On this step your going to be cutting out the center of the lid leaving the outer ring the secures the bucket lid intact for use later.
On these bucket lids I used a scroll saw to speed up the process and because I normally use a knife. I had poked myself with the knife quite a few times and they needed time to heal.
A happy medium is a dremal which most of us have. You can also purchase a semi decent rotary tool from harbor freight if your on a budget. I think the ones at harbor freight range from 10 - 30 bucks and come with the bit you can use to cut out this lid.
Now that I have gotten quite off topic we can get back to the details of the project.
Once you have gotten the center detached from outter rim. You gonna gonna measure you pond bucket down to a little less than half of the bucket. The measurement on mine was about 4 ". I then went off to the side of the center lid piece and cut a hole al little smaller than the opening on the pod bucket
Step 3: Finishing Up
Your gonna take the buckets outside place the bottoms with the pond buckets in offset where the float valve can still work.
Put soil into the pond bucket packed down pretty well. Get the soil wet in the pond bucket. Then fill the rest of the bucket with soil and plant your plant in at the appropriate level.
Rinse and repeat on the second bucket.
Your gonna get a black trash bag and cut a hole in it for the plant to come through on both buckets. Then use the outter ring bucket lids to secure the trash bags down onto the buckets and cut the excess.
Put on the 1/4" adaptor to tube and attach the tubing and run it to the water bucket. You can always buy a larger container to hold water and expand upon this. Just remember that the water bucket has to be placed higher than the earth buckets so the gravity fed system will work.
I installed mine attached to the fence with the earth buckets below. It works great. It has taken me 3 weeks to write this through a little trial and error but it is a quite good system.