This portable micro garden (PMG) is equipped with a simple to make sub-irrigation system. It is far more effective and productive than a top watered raised bed. That includes those that are drip irrigated.
Think of these PMG systems as intensive care units. They benefit from the best of two worlds. Nature provides the sunlight for photosynthesis and technology provides water and oxygen for the root system.
All three are critically important for growing healthy plants and the production of abundant fresh food.
Portable micro gardens using sub-irrigated solid media or simplified hydroponics will out produce traditional drain hole, top watered beds, drain hole pots or planters by as much as 50% or more while using in the range of 90% less water.
Why aren't we all growing fresh food and flowers in them? They could increase the local production of fresh food across the country by an unmeasured (but obviously huge) order of magnitude. They have the potential to feed millions of peope who now go hungry or have poor diets.
Of course you can choose to buy more expensive commercial planters if you are short of time and can afford them but these planters are simple to make. The most you will need is a drill. Contrary to so many DIY plans on the web you will not need PVC pipe. It is a waste of time and money.
Before you buy planters, have a look at the Flickr photo set (click on the icon upper right for a slide show) and you will see how easy they are to make. All you need to start is a watertight container or make one by lining it with sheet plastic. That is how the raised bed in the above photo was made watertight.