This is the most recent photo of the SIP Pollinator Gardens taken on July 31, 2016. They are working beautifully. There are more photos in a Flickr album that I am still editing.
I do not add water to the reservoir without checking the soil moisture with a probe. It is the foolproof way to avoid over-watering.
Do not fall for the "self-watering" propaganda. It is simply not true. The problem is that the gardening industry does not tell you about soil probes or sell them. It is arguably the most valuable gardening tool you can own.
The photos below show the SIP Pollinator Gardens with funnel pipes inserted into the fill tube installed in the planters. Simply pour water into the funnel until you see the slightest bit of water emerging from the overflow drain hole. Stop! You're done!
The water and oxygen reservoir is now full. Water will immediately start rising into the soil medium by capillary action. As it rises a new oxygen "bubble" will form on top of the water.
The filling pipe apparatus is an automotive funnel inserted into a PVC pipe. The lower photo shows just the funnel without the fill pipe. You can see that you can easily customize the filler to suit your ergonomic needs related to the planter height, your height and how supple your body is. Why bend your back if you don't have to, unless you want the exercise.
I had some extra plants when I made the Fiskars planters so I made a couple more using green storage boxes from IKEA. They are not UV resistant and may last just for the growing season. They cost only $1.49 each. We'll see how they hold up.