I have really appreciated my Really Raised Bed for starting transplants and nurturing tender plants I get in the mail. But these beds must be watered frequently to keep the soil from drying out.
Seeing several self-watering gardens on YouTube, I decided to make my own…and it has been a rousing success! (see the first photos). Water sits in the bottom of the tub and is wicked upward gradually by the compressed soil in the cups.
Following are directions for making your own self-watering, really raised bed.
start with a plastic tub
this is the brand I used
use heavy scissors to cut the lid to fit inside and cut four 3″ diameter holes 1 1/2″
from the edge
cut pressure treated 2″x4″ lumber to fit inside and support the plastic lid
now it looks like this
make a couple of vertical cuts in the sides of four plastic cups
put the cups in the holes
now cut a piece of 1″ plastic pipe long enough to extend above the top of the tub
grab a wine cork that fits inside the pipe; impale it with a piece of stiff wire
stand the pipe upright in one corner of the tub; you’ll have to cut the plastic
lid to make it fit
notice that I wasn’t too exact with my fitting
no problem; just use a rag to fill the space
now fill each cup with potting soil
press the soil firmly into the cup; it has to be firm so the soil will
wick water upwards
almost there! fill the tub completely with potting soil
you can put the tub on a patio wall or build a three-tub bench like I did
clip the wire in the floating cork so it appears above the top of the tube when water is in the bottom of the tub. This is where you’ll add water when the float drops down.
drill a half-inch hole in the end of the tub to prevent it holding too