I worked on my apartment garden a bit more yesterday, and I made some bigger self-watering containers to hold smaller stuff like herbs for the kitchen (obviously, this will not work for tomatoes or eggplants or pumpkins).
Like I said, I’m not very good at remembering to water plants (or remembering not to overwater plants), so self-watering containers are pretty much my ideal. Cotton strings (only use cotton, btw, synthetics don’t have the same wicking action) act as training-wheel roots, drawing water from the reservoir in the bottom half of the milk jug and distributing it evenly around the top half; all the forgetful gardener has to remember to do is occasionally make sure the reservoir isn’t out of water.
I thought I’d try to illustrate the process of making these supremely useful and almost-free self-watering pots out of old milk jugs with pictures rather than words. Show, don’t tell! OK, here we go:
Damn, I have some envy here. I would love to make this greenhouse; it was made by Instructables user cheft out of old windows from a house being renovated in his neighborhood and then posted as a DIY.
Lord knows that in Philly random windows from teardowns are a dime a dozen, but sadly this is meant to be anchored in a backyard; my roof is not a safe place for anything that can be moved by wind (we’ve lost 1.5 lounge chairs since September).
Maybe someone out in West Philly with a nice big yard can make it. That’s certainly one way to keep the squirrels from eating your eggplant.
Speaking of gardens, I checked on my day-old Savage Garden experiment this morning, and there’s some clear results: the self-watering Dixie cups didn’t need watering, the peat pots were very dry.
Self-watering Dixie cups: 1
Peat pots: 0