Toilet Gardener





Introduction: Toilet Gardener

 This is a video of me making a prototype for the Toilet Gardener, a planter that replaces the cover to your toilet reservoir, pulling moisture from the tank and making watering unnecessary.  

For the prototype, I used a plastic seeding tray, but I think if someone produced a porcelain equivalent, sold along with a seed kit etc. (like the chia pet), they could make a lot of money.

I used grass seed, but the ideally the planter would grow herbs etc. creating a living potpourri.
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    25 Discussions

    Coming in late to this conversation. This is an interesting concept and I'm thinking that if I could find the right types of plants I'm going to give it a try. The only issue I see is finding plants with small root systems. Typical house plants (i.e. pothos) have longer roots and wouldn't do well in this situation.

    However, possibly replacing the bottom of the tray with sturdy screening and using orchids or air plants would work well. Any suggestions as to type of plants that might work well in this without increasing the height of the tray?

    Love the idea!!

    You dont have to worry about the tank being sucked dry and not being able to flush, the refill mechanisim should automatically refill the toilet when the water level drops the float down in the tank and refill the tank for you.  Sort of like a small leak in the flapper valve, the water will leave but be replinished every so often...

    2 replies

    Oh...and I woulndt recommend planting eatable plants in this just in case someone flushed the toilet without the lid down, you could get some pretty nasty ecoli growing along with your herbs....regular plants would be good to go though!

    I think its more likely to be fecal coliform bacteria not e coli that you would have to be most concerned with. Watch the Mythbusters episode on the toilet myth. Toilet seat up or down or even in a closed medicine cabinet fecal coliform bacteria gets on everything anywhere it is in a bathroom. They actually found that the toilet seat was the "cleanest" ie least colonies of bacteria in the bathroom. Of course if you are scared of fecal coliform bacteria then I suggest living in a bubble... its literally everywhere on everything you touch throughout your everyday life.

    But yes, I definitely agree definitely no edibles in the bathroom please!

    Well this gave me enough curiosity to make me go and see how a toilet works at 1am, basically your idea is really good but I'm gonna try to make this in a different way, I will definitively post a pic if I do it! thnks for the idea <3

    Why not turn the cover over and use it to plant? It could be secured with denture adhesive and hand watered. After all, the water is right there. Catch some as your washing your hands.

    Interesting idea!   You won't grow much without good lighting, so I'm curious what you've planned for lighting.   

    1 reply

    I really want to try this, but I would need to use extra lights as there is only one small window in my toilet and it would defeat the purpose to need to turn the light on and off.... might as well just water plants outside.

    While I write this, I'm thinking maybe if I use some reflective sheets to push more light into the toilet window. It would only take one well positioned sheet and might also mean I wouldn't have to use the light in the very early morning.

    Another idea would be to recycle an old cistern using this idea to plant outside with a prebuilt automatic watering system, removing the health concerns.

    i really want to do this but i dont think my roommates would like it...

    An interesting idea as a way of introducing a natural perfume into the lavatory but I would under NO CIRCUMSTANCES grow anything edible in it. I watched an episode of Mythbusters a couple of years ago that dealt with the aerosol effect of flushing lavatories, even with the lid down & with the subjects in an adjoining bathroom fecal coliform bacteria was still found. Imagine what would get on it with the plants right above the bowl!!!!!! I think it would be best to stick to something that just smells nice guys :-)

    1 reply

    A) I wouldn't trust myth busters, B) The water in the tank is clean fresh water and in a sealed container, and then you wash the plants (as the stuff you buy from the market has been OUTSIDE where all sorts of animals, insects, and others have done their buisness..)

    You might not do it, but that doesn't mean it is a bad idea.

    Great idea! I've tried various wicks (without toilet). The wick usually doesn't give good coverage to the corners. Your diagonal approach may solve that.

    How thick is the wick AND what is the total length that you are spanning across the bottom of the container??

    1 reply

     The holes for this one are basically in the corners. I think it goes about 18 inches across the container. The sashing is probably a quarter inch. 

    I think the major factor with this is going to be they types of plants. This might prove to be the perfect growing environment for certain orchids. 

    I really look forward to hearing back from anyone else that gives this a try. 

    I was thinking thta this would be such a cool way to have some green in the bathroom, but then I remembered that my toilets flush with a top button.  Got any idea how to do it and not cover the flush buttons for a dual flush?

    1 reply

     Man, I have never even looked inside that kind of toilet. Maybe you could put two smaller trays on either side of the button, and build some sort of custom cover for the button section with a hole in it for the button.