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« An Artist's Sub-irrigated Box Garden | Main | Simple to Make Sub-irrigated Tote Box Planter »

March 23, 2009


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I'm going to try this idea on my okra seedlings which I will be planting next week.
I just planted a experimental variation of this idea yesterday, I put up pics on my blog with instructions. Thanks so much for the write up yesterday!

Greenscaper Bob

Good luck with all your vegetables Joan! It was a pleasure to post about your garden. I'm sure many others are benefiting from reading about it and seeing it.


Sebastian R

what is the adress of your blog Joan?


This idea is really interesting, but I've got some questions, for whoever can answer them I guess. I'm not keen on using plastic, and I've already got lots of terra cotta pots, so are there any other ideas for the plastic container, vinyl tile and tube? I've been thinking about some kind of bamboo tile or other wood, maybe metal, but I don't know about the possibility of leaching metals or other toxic yuck into my veggies.

Also, I'm wondering about what happens in winter. Even with a paint bucket, frozen water would be a concern. How do you make sure there's none left at the end of the season?


i think this is very clever. But I live in Florida and we get lots of rain during the summer, sometimes everyday. Since there is no drainage, isn't there a danger of drowning plants?

also does this type of irrigation work for root crops like carrots and potatoes. It seems like it might set up a scenario for rot.

Gene Kottke

Great idea on this one container design. As for the question about drainage for over watering or rain, just drill a couple of holes about 1/2" below the level of the platform and I also drilled a hole in the bottom of the bucket and made a plug for it for seasonal drainage if needed. But again, great idea.



After scoping out the various DIY sub-irrigation planters, I like your single bucket design best. I finally made my own, using your design but with slight modifications. I used the bucket lid instead of vinyl flooring for the platform, and I screwed in supports on four sides to prevent the platform from folding. I forgot to create holes in the platform, except for the big one to fit the wick. Oops! Hope that doesn't kill the tomato plant.

Greenscaper Bob

Good ideas! We need more people using their creative minds to make sub-irrigation planters of all types...and then sharing what they've done.

Re: the drainage/aeration holes. It these were my planters, I'd remove the plant(s) and drill the holes. Better to be safe than sorry.

Joe Blackwell

Sure, vinyl floor tile to support soil. LOL


Just one question:
In the picture, is this just the 1" tube or is there another silver tube inside the clear vinyl one? It's unclear to me from the picture.


If I'm using this to convert non-drain hole containers, do I need to drill a hole in the pot for a drain hole? My pots will be mostly sheltered under a balcony roof.


Also, if it's a glazed ceramic or clay pot, do I still need to apply the tree-wound paint?

Thank you for this inspiring and wonderful information :)

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