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  • sandre106 commented on merrittgene's instructable Self-watering container garden3 years ago
    Self-watering container garden

    I'm an IL Master Gardener & use cheap 18 gallon tubs from Walmart as well as kitty litter buckets like this. You must use the white PVC pipe as that does not leach toxic chemicals & is designed for water system use in a home. Cut the bottom of the PVC at an angle so the water flows easily into your reservoir. The drainage tile is already perforated so water will flow out slowly. Best to cover it with cheesecloth or some other cloth to keep the dirt out. I fill the PVC pipe until it stays full for a while. But you must drill a drainage hole in the side of the tub just above the height of the reservoir. If water starts coming out the drainage hole you know your reservoir is full. Try filling daily or every other day until you get to know how often it will need filling as that...

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    I'm an IL Master Gardener & use cheap 18 gallon tubs from Walmart as well as kitty litter buckets like this. You must use the white PVC pipe as that does not leach toxic chemicals & is designed for water system use in a home. Cut the bottom of the PVC at an angle so the water flows easily into your reservoir. The drainage tile is already perforated so water will flow out slowly. Best to cover it with cheesecloth or some other cloth to keep the dirt out. I fill the PVC pipe until it stays full for a while. But you must drill a drainage hole in the side of the tub just above the height of the reservoir. If water starts coming out the drainage hole you know your reservoir is full. Try filling daily or every other day until you get to know how often it will need filling as that will depend on weather and heat. You can grow just about anything in these tubs - I've grown tomatoes and beans with a trellis or cage. Melons also do well when supported with old pantyhose. Herbs do very well - I had one bin last summer with various herbs on my back porch right outside the kitchen door so it was handy to cut a few for cooking. A few starter potatoes will also work well, but start them low and add soil as the plants grow. The diaper pellets are a great idea to hold moisture into the growing soil and they are much cheaper than a bag or box of pearlite. One big box of disposable diapers will give you enough pellets for a lot of tubs. Happy Gardening!

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