Wulf's Webden

The Webden on WordPress

Self-watering

A self-watering plant pot made from a milk container.

Self-watering Recycled Pot

This is my latest bit of garden handiwork. It is a series of self watering plant pots made from old milk cartons.

I simply cut them round just below the handle and then inserted the inverted top (lid removed) into the bottom section. A few stones went into the inner section followed by a mix of compost and perlite.

The design gives three ways of watering. I can sprinkle water on top as per normal watering practises. However I can also pour water down the handle (the soil line is below the opening), taking water down to the middle of the container or put water in the outer container, where it will be drawn up through the earth, encouraging the roots to reach down.

Self-watering? Well, perhaps not entirely. However, I can give a good dose of water to the base less frequently than I would need to if watering from the top was the only option. The containers don’t have to stand in a waterproof tray to avoid water loss into the soil and the small spaces at the sides (compared to the relatively large void created the combined shapes) will reduce evaporation.

I only made them last weekend but, so far, the design is working well.

  • Cool project Wulf!  Our milk bottles in Australia are a different shape but I’m going to experiment with the ones we have and see if I can get it to work.
     
    I use cardboard toilet roll ‘pots’ for seedlings in a tray (all packed in tight) and water in the bottom of the tray so it wicks up through the soil.  The cardboard does soften but by the time the seedlings are ready to be planted into the garden, the whole pot just biodegrades and there’s no transplant shock. 

    Cheers,
    Anne
    The Micro Gardener

    • basswulf

      Yes – toilet rolls (and also pots made from rolled newspaper) can work well. If you have enough of them in your container, it doesn’t matter if the material degrades a bit as they hold each other up (as long as you move them onto the next stage before the roots start entangling through the side walls!).

      Another possible use of milk cartons might be to make small containers for batches of temporary paper pots (although, if Australian shops are anything like here, you might have plenty of other containers ready made for the job left over from other products).

  • Cool project Wulf!  Our milk bottles in Australia are a different shape but I’m going to experiment with the ones we have and see if I can get it to work.
     
    I use cardboard toilet roll ‘pots’ for seedlings in a tray (all packed in tight) and water in the bottom of the tray so it wicks up through the soil.  The cardboard does soften but by the time the seedlings are ready to be planted into the garden, the whole pot just biodegrades and there’s no transplant shock. 

    Cheers,
    Anne
    The Micro Gardener

    • Anonymous

      Yes – toilet rolls (and also pots made from rolled newspaper) can work well. If you have enough of them in your container, it doesn’t matter if the material degrades a bit as they hold each other up (as long as you move them onto the next stage before the roots start entangling through the side walls!).

      Another possible use of milk cartons might be to make small containers for batches of temporary paper pots (although, if Australian shops are anything like here, you might have plenty of other containers ready made for the job left over from other products).

  • Kinili

    The container is different than here……but what a FABULOUS idea!