The popularity of self watering systems is on the rise, with urban farmers embracing the flexibility they provide. Some systems only require adding water once a week, making this method a good choice for seniors and those with busy lifestyles. This newfound ease of plant maintenance has created a massive increase in at-home gardeners and a boom in the gardening industry.


The benefits of a self watering system

The benefits of a self watering system in your garden or greenhouse are robust. They allow the plant to retain more nutrients because instead of being absorbed into the ground and lost, they are released into the water and reused. This reuse conserves water, making it a perfect choice for those in dry climates. The self-watering system is ideal for optimum health.


Manually watering plants is a touchy process. In order to avoid root rot, many home gardeners end up stifling plant growth by under-watering. With a self watering irrigation design, roots get all the nutrients they need and then some leading to healthier plants and increase garden yields. It’s no wonder at-home gardeners are turning to this method, with new commercially available systems available every day, the price tag can put some off.


Here are 3 simple steps suggested by The Irrigation Shop, to help you to build your own simple irrigation system for under ten bucks.


How to Build Your Own System

1. Irrigation Supplies You Need

Professional grade irrigation supplies are readily available at your local home improvement store, but for this project, you only need to go as far as the local grocery store. These are common household items, and you may already have them. If you’re repurposing something, make sure the item is clean and sturdy.

What you’ll need:

-a large Tupperware style bowl with an airtight lid

-a drill with a large bit (1/4 to 1/2 inch in size) and a much smaller bit

-a 1-liter plastic bottle


-two fabric strips 2 inches by 16 inches (fabric should be synthetic or a poly-blend)

The brand of the container is not important. Make sure you choose a thick, sturdy container with a strong, airtight lid. For the fabric strips, synthetic blends are ideal. Cotton based materials degrade more quickly, so they have to be replaced more often.


2. Build Your Irrigation System

  • Prepare the container lid according to the diagram. Using a large drill bit, make five big holes in the lid. Switch to the smaller bit and add smaller holes throughout the lid. These holes will provide the soil with more air, maximizing their health and growth.
  • Set the lid aside and prepare the bottle. Remove the cap and label, and make sure the inside is clean and dry. Using the scissors, cut off the bottom of the bottle.
  • Roll the ends of the fabric strips and insert them into the large holes like bridges. Make sure the fabric strips touch the bottom of the container on both ends– this is vital, and if done incorrectly, your self watering system will not work.
  • The fifth large hole is for the fill spout. Place the mouth of the bottle securely in the last large hole.


3. Install Your System

Add your soil, plants of choice, and water. Then, sit back and watch watering plants become a pain-free process. Maintenance is as simple as topping off the water as needed, and changing the fabric strips a minimum of once per year.


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