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water wicking planters

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Project by atceric posted 03-13-2010 07:12 AM 3855 views 18 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“If momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” Okay, so this isn’t exactly fine woodworking. It was a fun, simple project, though.

More info on these planters can be found at…

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-Your-Own-Growing-Containers/

and

http://earthtainer.tomatofest.com/

The general idea is to create a planter with a reservoir of water at the bottom. The soil/root system wicks up water from the bottom. We experimented with this a bit late last summer and had some outrageously good results with tomato plants. This year we’re going all in building four of these large planters. Really hoping for a good crop of jalapenos!

The exterior shell of the planter is all treated wood. The shell is lined with 4mm plastic, and a drain hole ensures the water level never gets too high. The interior deck is cedar fence plank with a plastic strainer basket mounted in the center. Costs on the project are relatively low and so is the difficulty.





13 comments so far

View Hallmark's profile

Hallmark

432 posts in 1859 days


#1 posted 03-13-2010 07:25 AM

Great project, just in time for the planting season that is coming soon. My dad has something similar on a smaller scale. His tomato plants are a step above ours.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View jayjay's profile

jayjay

639 posts in 1799 days


#2 posted 03-13-2010 04:28 PM

I really need to try something like that. The soil I have here is horrible for planting in. That’s a great idea. Thank you for sharing that.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View MrsN's profile

MrsN

943 posts in 2279 days


#3 posted 03-13-2010 07:36 PM

Very Cool, now I need to make one.

-- ----- www.KNWoodworking.com ----- --

View donjoe's profile

donjoe

1360 posts in 1784 days


#4 posted 03-14-2010 02:24 AM

Great idea. Nice job on these planters.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

1123 posts in 2538 days


#5 posted 03-14-2010 04:17 PM

I think this is a great idea.
Is it easier to maintain the ph levels in this type of planter?
This type of growing platform is becoming very popular because the plants are never starved for nutrients.
Thanks for the post.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2914 days


#6 posted 03-15-2010 12:00 AM

a perfect project for GardenTenders
you made a beautiful planter!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View atceric's profile

atceric

51 posts in 1777 days


#7 posted 03-15-2010 05:58 AM

Debbie, you’re right. This is probably more appropriate on gardentenders. I guess I just consider myself
more a lumberjock than a gardentender.

Jim, all I know is from what I read on the websites linked above. The info there says to be sure and not scrimp on your soil. We used a potting mix with fertilizer premixed.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2914 days


#8 posted 03-15-2010 11:11 AM

this is one of those projects that belong on both sites :) Lucky us!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View TheDovetailJoint's profile

TheDovetailJoint

36 posts in 2427 days


#9 posted 03-16-2010 11:02 PM

Atceric,
Very well done. I was thinking about making some earthtainers this year, but just like you I found the two-Rubbermaid container investment a little bit off putting. Where are you finding the free fence pickets you mention? That makes this option very appealing. Again, nice work. Scott

-- http://shopsmith-tool-hunter.blogspot.com http://gilliom-gil-bilt-tool-hunter.blogspot.com

View atceric's profile

atceric

51 posts in 1777 days


#10 posted 03-17-2010 05:20 AM

Scott,

The pickets weren’t free. Purchased them at Lowes. Next hurricane in the area might make some free fence pickets available again. There’s something to look forward to…not! My son’s boy scout troop scavanged lots of fence pickets after Hurricane Ike and made dozens of bird houses. Some with blue duct tape on their roofs to match the blue tarps on the roofs of the homes around us.

Eric

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112936 posts in 2330 days


#11 posted 03-17-2010 05:24 AM

neat idea

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View TheDovetailJoint's profile

TheDovetailJoint

36 posts in 2427 days


#12 posted 03-18-2010 12:06 AM

Atceric,
My mistake. I assumed that the Instructable that you referenced was your Instructable. The reference to free pickets was found there.

Do you have a ballpark of how much you have invested in them?

-- http://shopsmith-tool-hunter.blogspot.com http://gilliom-gil-bilt-tool-hunter.blogspot.com

View atceric's profile

atceric

51 posts in 1777 days


#13 posted 03-28-2010 01:04 AM

Scott,

Sorry for the delay in answering. I’m not sure exactly on the cost, but I would guess about $40 to $50 each.

Eric

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