DIY Sub-Irrigated Planter
Build Your Own Sub-Irrigated Planter!
What is a sub-irrigated planter?
It’s a unique type of growing container that uses a different method for watering plants. Instead of watering the plant from the top, the water is stored in a reservoir and pulled upwards from the bottom through capillary action. This allows you to be more efficient with your water and can help keep your plants healthier as well. I also allows you to garden without the need for a large space.
Two 5 gallon food grade buckets
1″ outer diameter PVC pipe
4″ perforated drain pipe
Drill with 1/4″ drill bit, 1″ hole saw, and 4″ hole saw
13 gallon trash bag (optional)
Bungee cord (optional)
- Designate one bucket as your upper bucket and one as your lower bucket.
- Upper bucket:
- Cut a 4″ diameter hole in the center of the floor of the bucket. (This is where your wick will go)
- Cut a 1″ diameter hole near the edge of the floor of the bucket. (This is for your fill tube)
- Drill 20-30 1/4″ holes evenly spaced around the other holes. (These are for additional drainage)
- Lower bucket:
- Seat the upper bucket inside the lower bucket. Then drill a 1/4″ hole just below the bottom of where the upper bucket stops. (This will act as your overflow hole)
- Cut a 45 degree angle at one end of your PVC pipe and insert the cut end through the 1″ hole in the upper bucket. The pipe should stick up a few inches above the top of the upper bucket.
- Insert the perforated drain pipe into the 4″ hole in the upper bucket. The pipe should stick up a few inches above the floor of the upper bucket.
- Fill the wick with potting soil and then continue to fill the remainder of the bucket with soil.
- Optional step: Place the plastic bag over the top of the bucket and use the bungee cord to attach. (This will help with moisture retention and weed control)
As with any vegetable garden, you’ll still need plenty of sunlight and a consistent water source. For more information on vegetable gardening in Florida, consider some of these resources.
Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/VH/VH02100.pdf
Herbs in the Florida Garden: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/vh/vh02000.pdf
Specific Vegetables A-Z: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_vegetables_a_thru_z
Seeding the Garden: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/VH/VH02600.pdf
Starting the Garden with Transplants: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/VH/VH02700.pdf