These African violets are growing under two 4' LED shop lights from Costco. They were recently on sale at Costco here in San Diego for $40 less $8. The adjustable light garden rack (4'x6'x1.5' on wheels) is also from Costco ($90).
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The sub-irrigated planters (SIPs) do not have drain holes. They have very simple sub-irrigation plumbing instead of drain holes. Drain hole "pots" are from antiquity. It's time to put them in a museum along side ancient Egyptian artifacts. Contrary to popular belief, they waste water, plants and time. SIPs save and promote sustainability.
With the addition of very simple plumbing that provides both water and oxygen online, any watertight container can become a highly efficient SIP. There is no need to buy special "self-watering" planters as erroneously termed in the U.S.
The SIPs shown below are a melamine kitchen bowl, ceramic soup bowl and a hand-thrown ceramic bowl. There is no need to shop for drain hole "pots" in garden supply stores.
Containers of far better design are available elsewhere in stores like Ikea, Costco, Target and other home stores. Asian supermarkets are good sources. Also browse second hand, thrift and antique stores for bargains.
Melamine bowl from Costco (set of 4 for $20, bought on sale for $15).
Ceramic bowl from 99 Ranch Market (Asian supermarket in San Diego).
Hand thrown ceramic bowl from Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park.
The photo below shows typical bubble SIP plumbing (below) in a clear glass bowl. Grow your first plants in clear glass. It is an excellent way to learn how plants grow in them because you can see the soil moisture and root system. Don't worry; the plant roots have no problem with light exposure contrary to popular belief.
The key to SIP success is to only add water to the reservoir when the soil moisture calls for it...not because the reservoir is empty.
The utterly stupid term "self-watering" has led to misuse of SIPs for years. Growers encourage the use of the term because they do not want your plants to live too long. Their business plans are based on consumption rather than sustainability. Don't be a sucker for that.
Next up will be a post about bubble SIP containers from IKEA housewares. The possibilities are endless.