This is a great idea for a sub-irrigated (aka erroneously as “self-watering”) micro garden that can grow fresh food just about anywhere in the city.
While it will not fit on a fire escape like my salad bar, it will fit on a balcony, rooftop, driveway, row house paved patio or other paved surface. It would fit in most of the spaces shown in this neighborhood site survey I did here in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Elevated portable micro gardens like this will not only produce a ton of fresh vegetables but you will not strain your back growing them.
An elevated planter like has a second major benefit. The valuable space under it is available for storage. Remember that the sub-irrigated planters above are self-contained. There is no drainage to damage what is under them and if located on a balcony annoy the neighbors below with dripping water.
I would not make the tote box planters as described from the Instructables directions. It is an outdated method. These photos show a much simpler DIY tote box SIP made with recycled plastics, in this case ½ gallon milk containers. You could also make the water/oxygen reservoirs using inverted recycled nursery trays, or other recycled plastic food containers. The fill tube is made from recycled water bottles nested to fit.
The partial amount of soil is there to demonstrate the wicking system. Fill the SIP to the top before planting. The soil mix surrounding the reservoirs creates the wicks. It is a good idea to tamp the soil down with your fingers to improve the capillarity of the wicks. You do not need any yoghurt containers, pond baskets, PVC pipes, etc.
If I made this table I would hide the tote box SIPs. Draw curtains would be a simple way to do it and at the same time allow easy access to items stored below. Incidentally, the green tote shown was a Christmas item from a local dollar store. I do not like looking at blue or gray plastic boxes. I know…picky, picky.
There is more about this tote box SIP in a prior post that is also a Google Doc.