How to Make a Self Watering Planter

Introduction: How to Make a Self Watering Planter

About: Hello world, My name is Chris, and I am an environmental engineering student at NMSU. I recently discovered instructables and figured I might have some cool things i could share as well. Hope you enjoy!

Hi! I would like to show you how to make a self watering planter or (sub irrigation container), using recycled materials. Something such as this is great for starting a small indoor herb garden, however that does not mean you are limited as to what you would like to use it for.

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Step 1: What You Will Need.

2 plastic bottles. (I will be using two, 1/2 gallon, peak tea bottles) 1 old sock Box cutter Scissors 1 permanent Marker 1 ruler ( or anything you can use to make a decent measurement) Soil and seeds 1 cheesy quote! "it's better to measure 10 times and cut once, then to measure once and cut 10 times."

Step 2: Make Measurements

Draw a straight line or dotted lines all the way around the base of the first bottle. About one half inch from the base should be good. This will eventually be the part of the container that holds your plants so, making good measurements will ensure that when you have completed building your planter it looks great!

Step 3: Cut Along the Dotted Line. . . .

Using your box cutter, Cut along the line you have made to remove the base of the bottle. And please practice safety! Always try your best to cut AWAY form yourself. If the blade slips it can easily slice your finger or your FACE! Not good.

Step 4: Measurements Part 2

If you still haven't finished drinking the liquid in the second bottle, now would be a good time to do that. Take your second container and instead of marking around the base, make a straight line all the way around the bottle just below the neck. This part of the container will be the bottom section of your planter and will hold a reservoir of water for your plant(s)

Step 5: Cut

Cut along the line to remove the top of the bottle. Also remove the label. If you want to. If you have any trouble with glue you can put some orange oil or even lighter fluid on a paper towel, and you should be able to wipe it right off.

Step 6: Stick a Sock in It!

Take your old sock and cut of a piece big enough to plug the mouth of the first container. This will keep the soil from falling down into the water supply and making it dirty and gross looking. It will also help pull water up into the the roots of your plant. Plants like clean water too!

Step 7: Take a Break and See How It Looks

I wish I hade something to drink about now /:

Step 8: Finishing Touches

For my planter I went a little further and added a cover. This will in turn trap sunlight making my planter into a baby greenhouse, perfect for growing seedlings. My lid is a plastic hummus container that I got grocery shopping. Also since I decided to jam the top down into the bottom section for stability I used a small piece of hosing to displace the water. There are other ways of solving this problem. One is not to jam the two sections together as I have . As long as there is some air able to get into the water reservoir you should have no worries. Another is to poke holes in the bottom section(above the water line) and this will also create a way for air to get in. That way the water does not become trapped.

Step 9: Select Your Soil and Seeds

Now all you have left to do is decide what you would like to grow. Add soil to your planter, your seed(s) of choice and be sure to water the soil directly the first time. This will ensure they are moist and will grow. Anyway I hope this has been helpful :) Leave comments and feedback, and please, Stay positive Happy planting friends!

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Gonna try this right away!


    Yes, won't come out exactly the same as this one but very similar. Just experiment :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice one !:) might be doing this just a quick question for the bottle can i use a
    coca cola 3 liter bottle x2 tho