Build a 5 gallon self watering earthbox (Part II)

5gal-waterhole.jpgIf you haven’t read the first part of this project, please do so before proceeding with this part. Referring to the picture on the left, the next step is to drill 3 water overflow holes around the container.  As can be seen, these are drilled just shy of the inside container height, and the holes go through both the outside and inside sections. While one hole would do for the purposes of draining the water, I figured that the other holes might help with getting maximum airflow into the bottom (very important for the roots!).

markscreen.jpgI have now pulled the bottom section out and drilled a hole for the watering tube. You can also see the water overflow holes that I just drilled. Because I drilled the filtration holes a little big, I am using fiberglass screen to assure that the soil mix dosen’t infiltrate down into the water reservoir. I also drilled many more holes since the last part because one purpose of this divider is to allow maximum airflow to the roots!

If you are on a budget, you can eliminate this fiberglass screen step by simple drilling lots of smaller holes. However, if have the screen and/or are making more than one grow planter, then I feel that it’s a better idea to add the screen (you can drill lots of bigger holes and let the screen do “the screening”). I am simply marking around the screen and will then take some scissors and cut it out on the outside of the line so that I have a little spare etc.

cuttouttop.jpgIn this picture, I have: 1) Pushed the screen down and taken a razor blade to make relief cuts so I could lower both the wick container (soup can) and water fill pipe. 2) Cut a piece of pipe for the water filling and lowered it into the hole. 3) Taken the bucket top and cut out the middle with a bandsaw (you can use a jig saw or coping saw for the same purpose. Be sure to use some other type of pipe or hose rather than PVC for the water fill pipe because PVC can emit toxins when sufficiently heated.

In the third and final part, we will fill the container with potting mix, fertilize, add the plant and plastic mulch. I decided to break this project up to make it more digestable and also to write it as I had time to personally complete the steps etc.  Be back soon!

One Response to “Build a 5 gallon self watering earthbox (Part II)”

  • beverly bratton:

    Has anyone you’ve heard of used liquid fertilizers in the water? Some irrigation systems are set up for liquid feeding. Thanks for the detailed and clear instructions.

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